Manaoag vs Alaminos, Binmaley vs Urdaneta in semis
By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
THE dust has cleared and only the teams of Alaminos, Binmaley, Manaoag, and Urdaneta City are in the winners’ circle to play in the semifinals of the First Governor’s Cup Inter-Town Basketball Tournament of Gov. Amado Espino lll.
The first round will see Manaoag pitted against Alaminos City while Binmaley will play against Urdaneta City.
According to the rules explained to me by the province’s sports officials (Modesto Operania, Marlon Domalanta, Henry Escleto and league commissioner Edilberto Abalos), crossover parings will be implemented for the semifinalists. It means the unblemished Manaoag team (5-0) that topped bracket B in the quarterfinals, will play against Bracket A second finisher Alaminos City; Bracket A winner Binmaley will play against Bracket B second placer Urdaneta City. The semifinals start on March 25 and all the games will most likely be played at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) in Lingayen.
Calasiao’s heartbreaking defeat in the hands of Urdaneta City by a mere point (92-91) on February 25, was costly for the boys of Mayor Joseph Bauzon because that landed them in third slot. If the Calasiao boys won match, they would have tied Urdaneta City with 4-2 win-loss slate in the quarterfinals and won the second slot to enter the semis because ‘win over the other’ will be enforced to break the tie. This proved again that one point is so vital in every basketball match. That Feb. 25 cardiac game was definitely memorable for the two squads and their respective fans, more particularly for Calasiao. Better luck next year, Calasiao quintet!
As of this writing (March 16), my town Mangaldan and Villasis are tied in third spot carding three wins and two losses and with one game remaining. Mangaldan will face Asingan (1-4) and Villasis will go up against Alaminos City on March 18 in no-bearing games but still a lot of prestige is at stake. Whoever wins will grab the third position after the quarterfinals led by Binmaley and Alaminos City.
I watched Game 5 of Mangaldan last March 12 at the newly constructed Ramon J. Guico, Sr. Sports and Civic Center in Binalonan where the PJ Samson-mentored Mangaldan quintet eventually routed Binmaley’s conqueror, Bugallon, 80-69. It was a close match in the first three quarters, 19-22, 41-39, 52-51, until Mangaldan launched a frenetic play in the fourth and final quarter that rattled and baffled the Bugallon boys of Mayor Jumel I. Espino. The Mangaldanons, starred by AIE College varsity player Richard Santos who scored a game high 26 points while Lawrence de Quintos of Bugallon chipped in a team high 17 points rifling five shots beyond the arc. Despite the disappointment of my town mates to enter the semis, I doff my hat to them for their perseverance and the sportsmanship they displayed during their skirmishes throughout against the best basketball players in the province today. Mabuhay po kayo mga ginoo. Better luck next year to the losers.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? JOHN 14: 8-9