It’s Manaoag vs Binmaley in finals
By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
AFTER Alaminos City and Urdaneta City convincingly subdued their foes in the second game of their best-of-three semifinal series of the First Governor’s Cup Inter-Town Basketball Tournament on March 26 to force a knockout game on April 1, observers said the two city quintets had grabbed the vital momentum and were slightly favored to win the third and final match. But it was not done, instead the other way around happened.
I was there at Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center in Lingayen and saw how Manaoag did anew what they’ve done in their first meeting against Alaminos by dumping the Hundred Islands boys, 96-83, to snatch the first berth of the championship. Same thing happened to Binmaley booting out the eastern Pangasinan champion Urdaneta, 89-83, to bag the second championship slot.
The Manaoag team of Mayor Kim Amador mentored by Enan Mangonon took all the first three quarters, 23-12, 58-40, 78-62 and eventually won by 13 points, 96-83, with five of its marquee players chipping in double figures led by their wily point-guard Manny Santos scoring a team high 23 marks. Joemar Ordoña contributed 13, Adrian Barrozo with 12 while Obaid Hamad and John Nonie Mamayson had 11 points apiece. The hapless Alaminos boys of Mayor Arthur Celeste had only three players scoring in double digits spearheaded by th league three-point specialist Eligio Agloro converting a game high 24 points while Arwin Lamadrid and Raymund Capin had 10 marks each.
Unlike the first game, the second skirmish of the day between Binmaley and Urdaneta City was a sort of an edgy match in the first period, 23-19. Binmaley with the majority horde raucously cheering for them and jeering the enemies, the boys of Mayor Sammy Rosario boosted the gap to eleven, 48-37, in the first half, with the delight of the roaring Binmaley partisan crowd including the mayor himself. I believe 80 percent in attendance at NRSCC were Rosario’s constituents.
Astonishingly, ‘the never say die’ Urdaneta sons of hizzoner Bong Perez coached by Sonny de Jesus engineered a 27-13 romp in the third led by its key players Harley Diego, Lorence Batalla and Rolly Bravo combining 23 points to wrest the front by a mere point, 66-65, that silenced the Binmaley followers.
The fourth and final period turned to be a nail-biting match with Binmaley seizing the lead and most of the time by just two points, 68-66, 73-71, 77-75, 79-77, 85-83, orchestrated by the Melendez brothers, Roxar and Mark converting three vital treys plus an unforced errors committed by Urdaneta in the dying minutes. Binmaley finally won by six marks, 89-83.
Binmaley and Manaoag clash for the title in the best-of-three series, all to be conducted at NRSCC. First game is slated on April 8 with Alaminos and Urdaneta battling for third place at 1:00 p.m. The 3-point shootout competition follows at 2:30 p.m. with eleven finalists and six players scheduled to join the slam-dunk contest before the Manaoag vs Binmaley tussle at 3:30 pm.
Our province sports officials led by Modesto Operania and his able assistant Marlon Domalanta said the second game will be staged on April 22 due to the Holy Week commemoration. If third game is necessary, it will be played the following day, April 23.
I think another overflow crowd is in the offing. Honestly, the game last April 1 was the largest multitude I ever saw in my life in any amateur caging in the province that I covered beating the championship crowds of UCAAP and PRISAA tournaments. Yes, a very successful sports affair initiated by our province chief executive the sports fanatic Gov. Amado “Pogi” Espino, III.
See you there, again.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: And Jesus said to Peter, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times. Peter said to Him, “Even I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” And so said all the disciples. MATTHEW 26: 34-35