Sports Eye

Provincial basketball quarterfinals’ skirmishes

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

THE quarterfinals of the third edition of the “3rd Governor’s Cup Inter-Town/City Basketball Tournament of Gov. Amado Espino III participated in by 24 towns and cities kicked off last February 23. Fifteen teams bracketed in two groups led by defending champion Lingayen and twice first runner-up Manaoag in the quarterfinals with two wins, no loss.

Among the towns that surprisingly failed to make it to the quarterfinals were the first edition champion Binmaley and former titlist San Carlos City. The other failed towns were Villasis, Alcala, San Nicolas, Sta. Barbara, Anda, Labrador and Bugallon.

Lingayen is bracketed in Group A together with Urdaneta City, Bayambang, Tayug, Aguilar, Calasiao and my town Mangaldan. In the first two days of hostilities held at Aguilar gym last February 23 and 24, the boys of Lingayen coach Jason Vinluan displayed its championship quality anew by convincingly defeating Aguilar, 116-107, and Calasiao, 130-90, the following day. My town Mangaldan was defeated by Bayambang, 102-110, but trounced Aguilar, 115-109, while Urdaneta City subdued Bayambang, 110-102, the next day, while Calasiao succumbed to Tayug, 106-114, in overtime. Calasiao and Aguilar are winless (so far) in Group A.  

Manaoag, Sto. Tomas, Alaminos City, Sual, Malasiqui, Mangatarem, Asingan and Bautista are in Group B. The Manaoag boys of head coach Ferdinand Mangonon led the onslaught in the first two days of skirmishes they tamed anew perennial victim Alaminos City, 88-79, and overwhelmed Bautista, 121-82. The surging Sto. Tomas and Sual quintets also established two wins without loss after Sto. Tomas beat Bautista, 116-110, and thumped Asingan, 89-84, while Sual edged Malasiqui, 90-86, and nipped Alaminos City, 78-76. Malasiqui beat Mangatarem the following day, 100-91. Alaminos and Asingan are hapless (so far) in Group B. All the games were held at Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) in Lingayen.     

This is not to belittle the other teams but pardon me if I’m wrong because while the battle is still a long way to go, the 40 and 39 points margin of victories by Lingayen and Manaoag, respectively, against their foes are huge signs of their dominance en route to semifinals. Who knows, the two might clash anew for the championship like what happened last year.  Why not? Let’s wait and see.

According to the league’s governing body Pangasinan Sports Development and Management Council deputy executive officer Marlon Domalanta, the quarterfinals clashes resume on March 2 and 3 at Calasiao gym for Group A and at NRSCC in Lingayen for Group B. See you there.

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There were many commentaries in the social media pertaining to the Lifetime Award of cyclist given to 1979 Marlboro Tour champion Paquito Rivas by the Philippine Sports Writers Association (PSWA). Netizens say there are other more deserving cyclists than Rivas being only a one-time champion. Others more servings were three-time Tour champions like the late Antonio Arzala and Manuel Reynante. Also just as deserving were back-to-back champions like the late Jose Sumalde, Cornelio Padilla, Jr., Jacinto Sicam, two-time winners Carlo Guieb, Domingo Quilban, Victor Espiritu, Jan Paul Morales and John Mark Galledo. But if you ask me, first and foremost to be awarded that kind of nobility should be our kabaleyan Santy Barnachea of barangay Esperanza, Umingan, Pangasinan being the ONLY four-time Tour champion in the Philippines. (I can’t complain because I was already accorded that accolade in 2007).

PSWA made a big mistake.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; JAMES 1: 22-23

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