Binmaley vs Mangaldan
By Jesus A. Garcia, Jr.
I FAILED to attend the baptismal reception of my grandson JJ, the only son of my first child Jazy held at Mangaldan’s Trish Hotel/Restaurant last January 28 because it coincided with the Binmaley-Mangaldan skirmish. I had to cover the battle between the two title contenders in Group A quarterfinals of the 2nd Governor’s Cup Inter-Town/City Basketball Tournament at the Calasiao Sports Complex.
I had to because not only Mangaldan is my hometown, but I knew that it will be a close fight again like what happened last year. And yes, it was.
The Binmaley-Mangaldan encounter was the fifth and main event of the day that started at 3:10 p.m. The first game was the Manaoag-Bayambang meeting that Manaoag won by six points, 89-83. Malasiqui clobbered Asingan 102-87, Alaminos City routed Umingan 93=81, Tayug surprisingly plastered title challenger Sual 99-86, and finally a come-from-behind victory for Binmaley edging out Mangaldan, 100-94.
Mangaldan took the early charge spearheaded by power-forward Aljick Aquino who pumped in 11 points and led the first period by four points, 25-21. Despite the efforts of last year MVP (Most Valuable Player) Roxar Melendez for Binmaley in the second quarter, the determined Mangaldan boys of head-coach PJ Samson never allowed their foes take the front, and led by nine marks, 45-36. Aquino sank three treys plus two perimeter range shots to protect the second juncture by seven points, 53-46.
Just like in the first two periods, Mangaldan was in control in the third, with its three key players (Aquino, forward Richard Santos and pivot-man Denver Maure) leading the offensive midway and led by 13 points, 64-51. But “expect the unexpected,” as the saying goes. Suddenly, Mangaldan ‘s Aquino suffered a sprain on his right foot after a bad fall and he was sidelined for the remaining minutes of the quarter. As a result, Mangaldan’s lead was down to four marks, 75-71, end of third.
Capitalizing on the absence of five-foot-eleven Aquino, the Binmaley quintet romped a 6-0 run at the start of the fourth and final quarter to take the front for the first time, 77-75. Yes, Aquino was sent back to the court four minutes before the end of the game and still scored six points of his total 33, but obviously all his moves were no longer the same. Binmaley augmented its lead 88-82, with Paul Cruz, brothers Mark and Roxar doing most of the harm and protected their distance up to the final buzzer, 100-94.
The three-point specialist Roxar wrapped up a team high 32 points but with only one successful trey out of seven attempts, and that was very unusual. “I guess I’m still off in my long range shots. I have to practice more,” said Roxar in the post-game brief chat with him. His brother Mark contributed 23 while Cruz and Villanueva had 15 points apiece.
Binmaley is facing a tough task for its first three games.
They boys of Mayor Sammy Rosario will meet heavy contender Alaminos on February 3 and last year’s first runner-up Manaoag on February 4, both to be held at Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) in Lingayen and both to be played at 2:30 p.m.
See you there. The admission is free.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK. “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.” LUKE 12: 10
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