Sports Eye

How the PANELCO quintet won


By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

THE Pangasinan Electric Cooperative (PANELCO) cage squad landed fourth in the quarterfinals to notch the last slot for the semis in the First Pangasinan Inter-Agency Basketball Tournament organized By Gov. Amado I. Espino lll.

The west Pangasinan-based PANELCO despite being the underdog in the semifinals edged the league’s top seeded and unblemished PNP-A last October 28 to force a winner-take-all game against the crime-busters on November 3 in Lingayen. (Note: I’m making this piece on November 2, and by the time you read this piece, the final game would have already been played).

Yes, I saw how the fourth-seeded Electricians slipped through  with a pulsating 101-98 victory that stunned the spectators.  After the game the PANELCO boys were in cloud 9 to stay in contention for the title. They had the momentum to boost their morale as they told this writer that they’re determined to win the second slot in the finals and ready to face PNP-B if they win again against PNP-A. (PNP-B bagged the first slot over DPWH, 109-105, also last October 28).

The PNP-A – PANELCO tussle was a cliffhanger, starting from the middle of the first quarter. PNP-A trailed by nine points, 10-19, after six minutes of play, then orchestrated a 13-4 spree for a 25-25 all at the juncture, with Jason Pagdanganan and Albert Calputora leading the salvo mostly from the perimeter ranges.

The PANELCO boys tried to break away at the second quarter with center Prudencio Baldeo and forward Elmer Orperia leading the attack combining 20 points. But the ‘never-say-die’ PNP-A countered with their own run-fronted by Emil Dauz and Braulio Pantaleon to tie the second period at 53-53, all.

The third quarter was a see-saw battle in the first five minutes until PANELCO broke away anew after eight minutes of play and the most was at 78-71. Unfortunately, due to the stifling defense applied by the policemen, PANELCO was nailed at 78 with policemen Calputora and Vincent Camagay tying the score at 78 all, third time to happen and first time to occur in the tournament. A record.

The fourth and final quarter was starred by Camagay who scored 12points of his total 15 from medium range shots but it was not enough to dislodge the determined PANELCO boys led by Baldeo, Orperia and Jeermar Oxciano in the quarter who combined with 21 marks. But it was the six-foot-two Electrician Oxciano who did most of the damage against PNP-A by scoring a game high 27 points mostly from the shaded lane. Orperia and Baldeo scored 18 and 17 points, respectively, while guard Jonathan Raquel contributed 11 points for the winners. Calputora pumped in a team high 23 points, Dauz with 18 and Pantaleon with 12 for PNP-A.

And the big question is, will it be PNP-A versus PNP-B in the finals, or PNP-B against PANELCO? Sportsman Henry Ecleta said “mas magandang tignan kung PNP-B versus PANELCO sana ang maglalaban sa finals.” He did not elaborate. Let’s just wait and see.

According to provincial sports chief executive officer Modesto Operania, the best-of three championship series started on November 4. Second game will be on November 10. And if necessary, the third and the knockout match will be on November 14 at the same venue. See you there.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. HEBREWS 6: 10

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