Sports Eye

Lingayen, Manaoag enter regular quarterfinals

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

DEFENDING champion Lingayen and twice first runner-up Manaoag teams extended their winning streaks sans loss by repulsing their respective rivals in their particular group (A and B) quarterfinals and officially entered the league’s regular quarterfinals of the 3rd Governor’s Cup Inter-Town/City Basketball Tournament held at Urdaneta City and Bautista gyms on March 9 and 10, respectively.

I watched the games at the Urdaneta City gym on March 9 and 10 and I was impressed at how the Lingayen boys managed to overcome their 14-point deficit, 59-73, against the Mangaldan squad midway in the third quarter, via a suffocating-trap defense in the final juncture, eventually winning by 13 points, 102-89.

Yes, similar to what Lingayen did to Binmaley last year en route to its first championship victory, it did it as well to Bayambang, Tayug, Aguilar and their latest victim was Mangaldan last March 9. The unblemished capital town boys will strut their last mettle in group A quarterfinals against second ranking (4-1) and tougher opponent Urdaneta City at the Tayug gym on March 17. Anyway, win or lose, the two title contenders will still occupy the first two spots of group A.

The real battle in this group will be for the third and fourth positions among Bayambang, Mangaldan, Tayug and Calasiao fighting for dear life. While Bayambang already finished its six assignments registering three wins and three losses, Mangaldan has to beat Calasiao in their last game on March 17 at the Tayug gym to seize the fourth and last spot to tie the record of Bayambang. If that happens, Bayambang will take third place since Bayambang defeated Mangaldan, 110-102, on February 23. But if Calasiao wins, Mangaldan will automatically be booted out for the fourth place and a triple-tie between Bayambang, Calasiao and Tayug will ensue for their identical three wins three losses mark under the FIBA quotient method.

Based on the record that I received from the league’s governing body, Pangasinan Sports Development and Management Council (PDSMC), I believe Tayug has the upper hand after winning over Calasiao, 114-106, in overtime and Bayambang, 99-91, while Bayambang defeated Calasiao by just five points, 80-75. If this happens, Tayug and Bayambang will enter the ‘magic four’ for the league’s regular quarterfinals expelling Calasiao.

In group B, Manaoag also achieved what Lingayen accomplished – winning all their assignments without a loss. Surprisingly, they tamed the lowly-rated Mangatarem by just four points, 101-91, on March 9. It also won by default over Asingan, 20-0, on March 10 to remain spotless in the tourney. (Their last assignment was on March 16 against the underdog Malasiqui at Asingan gym). Sual landed second place with 6-1 win-loss card and Sto. Tomas occupies third place with 4-2 to enter the ‘Magic Four.’ Alaminos City (3-3) must prevail over Bautista (2-4) on March 16 to remain in fourth place. And in case Alaminos loses and Malasiqui wins over Manaoag, and Mangatarem is victorious over Sto. Tomas, there will be a triple-tie in this group.

According to PDSMC executive director Marlon Domalanta, it will be a cross-over battle in the next round with Lingayen facing fourth placer and Urdaneta tangling the third placer both from group B and group B top winner Manaoag to encounter group A’s fourth placer, while Sual clashes the group’s third finisher. Lingayen, Urdaneta, Manaoag and Sual will enjoy the twice-to-beat advantage over their respective opponents.


QUOTE OF THE WEEK: And God said, “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right; he shall surely live; he shall not die.” EZEKIEL 18: 21

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