Binmaley vs. Alaminos and Manaoag
By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
UNLIKE its first game against Mangaldan that resulted in a come-from-behind victory for defending champion Binmaley, 100-94, the subsequent two games of Binmaley in the Group A quarterfinals of this year’s Governor’s Cup Inter-Town/City Basketball Tournament against Alaminos City and Manaoag on February 3 and 4, respectively, were not as tough as their Mangaldan tussle.
In its outing vs. Alaminos, Binmaley, except in the first quarter when Binmaley trailed by two points, 17-19, the boys of Mayor Sammy Rosario dominated the last three periods, 35-25, 54-41, and finally 73-60. But to the surprise of many (including this writer), last year’s MVP, the six-foot-two power forward Roxar Melendez who was expected to lead the blitz was just limited to a mere ten points output , his lowest in the two-year tournament. Instead, it was his brother Mark who handled the baton pumping in a game high 23 points. And believe it or not and for the first time in the tourney, it was the diminutive five-foot-four Binmaley point-guard Samuel Visperas who contributed hugely with his amazing razzle-dazzle play that confused the boys of head coach Jun Marzan. Yes, to the delight of the partisan crowd, the court-general Visperas was impressive when he scored his tournament high 20 points with 10 assists and six rebounds.
But it was quite different for Binmaley when it played against Manaoag on February 4. The Melendez siblings, Roxar and Mark, took charge this time with a combined of 59 points. The younger Melendez (Mark) scored a game high 30 points while Roxar who was anemic during the Mangaldan clash finally found his rhythm against Manaoag rifling 29 marks. The spitfire Visperas contributed 10. The two town title contenders met for the first time after their championship battles last year that saw Binmaley winning, 2-1, the best-of-three series.
Manaoag’s best effort was to tie with Binmaley in the first period, 22-22 all, but the succeeding three periods were all for Binmaley, 45-41, 73-61 and eventually 92-83. Asked about its defeat, Manaoag head coach Ferdinand ‘Enan” Mangonon who is himself also a veteran referee blamed one the whistle blowers that unfairly caused their defeat. “Paano kami mananalo eh maninipis ang mga tawag ng isang referee sa mga players ko, samantalang sa kabila, hindi,” said Mangonon.
Manaoag, together with Alaminos, Mangaldan, Tayug, Bayambang and Malasiqui are bunched in second position, respectively, toting two wins with single loss while Sual, Umingan and Asingan are at the cellars both recording no win after three hostilities. Asingan was a no-show in its scheduled battles against Tayug on Feb. 3 and against Bayambang on Feb. 4 which was a clear sign of surrender. I don’t know why.
The six squads that tied together in the second position will be broken on February 10 and 11. It will be Mangaldan vs Alaminos, Tayug against Bayambang, Malasiqui to face reigning champion and top seeded Binmaley, and Manaoag to meet Sual, all to be conducted at the Tayug gym. Whatever will be the outcome of the February 10 skirmishes, I believe that two teams will end up in another deadlock, but that will be broken also on February 11 at the same gym with Manaoag facing Malasiqui, Mangaldan locking in with the surging Bayambang, and Binmaley against Tayug. Forget about Asingan versus Alamino since the former is expected not show up again, ensuring another victory for the Hundred Islanders. Let’s wait and see.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven will be shaken. MATTHEW 24: 29
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