1st GOVERNOR’S CUP INTER-TOWN TOURNEY
LINGAYEN–Powerhouse Binmaley prevailed in their do or die battle over Manaoag on Sunday, 76-67, to win the championship trophy and the grand prize in the 1st Governor’s Cup Inter-Town Basketball Tournament before a banner crowd that packed the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center Gymnasium in Lingayen.
Tied at 1-1 wins on April 22, Binmaley snatched the title from their former tormentor in Game 1 through outside shooting, leading 20-14 in the first quarter, 38-32 in the second quarter and 54-49 in the third quarter in their third finals encounter at 2:00 p.m. the next day.
Gov. Amado Espino III watched the game and in a brief speech at half time, vowed that the 2nd Governor’s Cup Inter-Town Basketball Tournament will be played starting November this year as he thanked all teams and their players for participating in the tournament.
Roxar Melendez, the heart and soul of Team Binmaley and a mainstay of the Lyceum Northwestern University’s Dukes, waxed hot in the first quarter with three booming triples, plus a triple by his younger brother Mark Melendez to build an early lead at 16-8.
Then they combined with Lender Soriano, Jonas Salazar and Christian Paul Cruz to set a comfortable six-point bubble at the end of the first canto.
It was only in the early third quarter that Manaoag staged a rally by banging in eight unanswered points to tie the score at 38-38 and even took the lead at 40-38 on a jumper from Aldrin Serafica.
But their surge was brief as Cruz forged a second deadlock at 40-40 while Soriano accounted for six unanswered points.
Then Cruz came back with another two points to make it, 48-40 in Binmaley’s favor.
Trailing Manaoag at 0-1 before the Holy Week, Binmaley bounced back in their second meeting last April 22, 71-62, to force a do or die battle between them the next day which Binmaley won.
A jubilant Mayor Simplicio Rosario of Binmaley said when his team was down at 0-1, he encouraged the Melendez brothers and the other players to exert more efforts because the opponent could be beaten.
True enough, they came very strong in the second game, further bolstering the team spirit to win the tournament,” Rosario said.
“The prize in this tournament does not matter. What matters is that we in Binmaley won this tournament,” said Rosario.
Manaoag had a chance to come back with a rally in the last seven minutes of the final quarter but lost the opportunity when they were called out for a penalty.
Roxar Melendez doused the rally with two successive shots and a one point when he halved his free shot from the foul line.
Manaoag bagged the first runner-up honor with Urdaneta wounding up second runner-up and Alaminos City, third runner-up.
The awarding ceremony for the winners was held at NRSCC gym on April 29. (Leonardo Micua)