Team Lingayen is new champ
By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
WHAT was expected to be a close match between this year’s two finalists Manaoag and Lingayen in their third and final meeting at the Governor’s Cup basketball tournament turned out to be a shocking lopsided victory for the capital town Lingayen, 117-92.
The Manaoag five of Mayor Kim Amador, first runner-up last year to Binmaley and victorious in the second game, 84-82, failed to live up to expectations of many in the final game of the best-of-three championship series.
Yes, they tried their very best but their game on April 21 was unlike their April 14 game. The boys of head coach Enan Mangonon were clearly outgunned and outrun from the start up to the end, which surprised, if not shocked and disappointed, most of the spectators, including this writer.
The Lingayen five under the tutelage of Jason Vinluan quickly made an auspicious and aggressive start led by its reliable guard Marben Mamaril and agile forward Kenneth Castillo. They combined for a first quarter high of 20 points to power the host cagers of Mayor Iday Castañeda by 13 marks, 28-15. Quicker and with higher percentage of accuracy primarily from the three-point zone, Lingayen’s homegrown consistent point-maker and MVP (Most Valuable Player) candidate Mamaril registered 10 of his team’s second quarter 31 points output while Michael Jan Castro contributed seven points that widened Lingayen’s lead by a whooping 28 marks, 61-33.
Manaoag tried and managed to get it together in the third canto, orchestrating a 12-5 romp early on to trim their deficit to 21 points, 70-49, courtesy of its power-forward Angelo Aromin and pivot-man Aldrin Serafica who did most of the offensive moves.
To the Manaoag boys’ credit, despite the wide margin with only 10 minutes to play, and knowing there was no more time to overcome their 21 points deficit, the never-give-up dribblers of head Mangonon made an amazing last effort with point-guard Manny Santos rifling four consecutive treys, a championship record! That effort roused the jam-packed horde, seeing the gap trimmed down to 13 points, 97-84,with 5:02 minutes left that forced Vinluan to call a timeout.
The brief ceasefire paid off for Vinluan who adjusted his team’s play to counter Manaoag’s effective offensive charge. The new play stopped the Manaoag team to win the match with a 25-point edge, 117-92, to win the province’s coveted title of this year’s 2nd Governor’s Cup Inter Town/City Basketball Tournament,
“Despite our misfortunes and predicaments during the tourney, we did not lose hope but played hard and prayed harder and I believe our prayers were heard by Him,” an emotional (tears of joy) Vinluan said. “This is for our town mates and we’ll try to defend our title next year.”
The second edition of the five-month hostilities that started on November 18 last year was conducted sans untoward incidents. Yes, it was another very successful sporting affair initiated by the youthful and good-looking Pangasinan’s chief executive Espino under the organization of the Pangasinan Sports Development and Management Council headed by director Modesto Operania and his reliable deputy Marlon Domalanta. According to Guv Espino, the third edition will start sometime in October this year.
Mabuhay kayo, mga ginoo, and keep up the good work! See you all at the awarding ceremony at NRSCC on April 29.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural in a mirror; For he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what of man he was. JAMES 1: 23-24.
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