Sports Eye

Lingayen overwhelms Manaoag, 1-0

By  Jesus A. Garcia, Jr.

THEY lack the height and the heft, but they have the speed, better chemistry and higher percentage of shooting accuracy to upset their opponent.

Yes, they’re the Lingayen quintet of Mayor Iday Castañeda that overwhelmed last year’s first runner-up and title-favorite Manaoag, 97-75, in their first game of the best-of-three championship series of the 2nd Governor’s Cup Inter-Town/City Basketball Tournament on April 7.

Indeed, I saw how the determined Lingayen boys were despite being outrebounded, how they orchestrated a 12-point lead in the first period alone, 30-18, and never gave up the following quarters, 49-37, 68-54, 97-75. Lingayen’s three-point specialist, MVP candidate and darling of the Lingayen crowd Marvin Mamaril scored a game high 26 points with six treys, assisted by forward Jeremy Casaclang with 17, reliable center Jesse Artates  with 14, and Manuelito Arias with 10, eventually winning by 22-marks, the largest margin (so far) in the league’s championship match.

Manaoag’s consistent top scorer point-guard Manny Santos who established the league’s semifinals record high 43 points on March 17 (averaging 28 points per game) was not so productive this time, converting only 11, missed 9 of his free throws out of 13. Surprisingly, it was Manaoag’s pivot-man Aldrin Serafica who scored the team high 16 points this time with forward Angelo Aromin contributing 12 and Adrian Bautista doing the slot of the absent playmaker Adrian Barrozo adding 11 marks.

“We prayed hard to win this game and I believe our victory was a blessing from Him (God)”, said Lingayen head coach Jason Vinluan. “We’ll try hard again in the second meeting to win  the title and not have to play a third encounter,” Vinluan added.

“We need some adjustments for the second game with the presence of Adrian Barrozo,” Mangonon quipped.

I agree. With Barrozo on the court, for sure it will be a different play and story. Let’s wait and see.

In the battle for third place, dethroned champion Binmaley suffered its third consecutive defeat, bowing to Urdaneta City, 101-96, in their first best-of-three series. Like in the Lingayen-Manaoag tussle, the boys of Binmaley Mayor Sammy Rosario trailed in all the first three quarters, 29-18, 51-43, 74-68. And despite MVP candidate Roxar Melendez’s 9 points in the fourth quarter (for a total 36 points), his team succumbed to the well-oiled eastern Pangasinan champion Urdaneta by 5 marks.

A number of the province’s officials watched the two games, among them the sports-minded Gov. Amado ‘Pogi’ Espino III, Calasiao Mayor Joseph Bauzon, and Manaoag Mayor Kim Amador.
The 3-point shootout was won by Urdaneta City power-forward Chuck Barcelona with 9 points while the Melendez brothers Mark and Roxar finished second and third with 7 and 6 points, respectively.

Our view of how the paired teams played on April 14 at NRSCC in our next issue.

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My big congrats to LNU Dukes coach Gilmark Meneses on his election as president of the newly organized Pangasinan Basketball Coaches Association (PBCA). According to Meneses, it’s high time the group of basketball coaches in the province organized in order to improve their camaraderie and friendship and most importantly to guide the young coaches in developing their skills in this James Naismith-invented sport.

Keep up the good work, PBCA!

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: For the Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. LAMENTATION 3: 31-32

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