Sports Eye

‘Wild Card’ slot for semis non-qualifiers

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

UNLIKE the first edition of the Governor’s Cup Pangasinan Inter-Town/City Basketball Tournament that allowed  only the top four in each Conference (Central, Northern, Western, Eastern) to qualify in the league’s  quarterfinals, the format of the second season’s tilt in the qualifying round was expanded to give qualifying round losers another chance.

As explained to me by the province’s sports chief executive officer Modesto Operania and his reliable assistant Marlon Domalanta, the qualifying round losers in each Conference like the fifth, sixth, seventh, eight and ninth placers, will have a  chance to earn a slot in their respective Conference semis by battling it out via single round-robin system,  and to make it five for the said semis. It’s called a “Wild Card” slot.

Operania and Domalanta averred that in case of double tie after the round-robin, the ‘win-over-the other’ method will be employed.  The two also pointed out that if triple tie crops up, which I believe can happen, the FIBA quotient-system will be implemented to break the impasse. In other words, instead of just four teams qualifying as in the first edition of the tourney, there will be five teams that will qualify and a new scorecard will apply – back to zero wins and losses.  Again, the five squads will clash with each other via round-robin system and only the two top teams in each conference will qualify as quarterfinalists.

As of this writing (December 7), the Lingayen squad in the Western Conference leads in the entire hostilities, with five victories sans loss, and is expected to sweep the three remaining games. (See related story on this page).

The new system will allow the qualifying-round losers the chance to stay alive in the tournament. Although it may be far-fetched, I still believe that miracles do happen on this planet every day.  It happened in the old U.S. NCAA’s cagefest! A ‘wild card’ recipient captured the coveted championship and shocked the avid basketball aficionados of America.

I doff my cap to our province chief executive the sports-minded Amado “Pogi” Espino, III for initiating this unique system. While extending the games could cost the league more in time, and more tests on the physical and mental abilities of the players, the new system will eventually redound to an improved and more exciting tournament for the province.

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After six days of hostilities that started on November 18, my town Mangaldan finally hosted four pairs of skirmishes in the Second Governor’s Cup Pangasinan Inter-Town/City Basketball Tournament yesterday, December 9, at the Macario Ydia Development Center. Unfortunately, the results of the Mangaldan- Alcala and Pozorrubio-Laoac tussles could not be reported in time for our press deadline. The results will be reported next week together with highlights of the Pangasinan Sports Academy reception held the same day with around 156 young athletes (15 and under) for 14 different sports discipline in attendance.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ISAIAH 9: 6

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