Sports Eye

Lingayen vs Manaoag‘s 2nd game deferred

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

IN their two consecutive outings, the determined Urdaneta City five defeated the Sto. Tomas quintet the hard way in the semis of the 3rd Governor’s Cup Inter-Town/City Basketball Tournament.

In their first game held at Letran Manaoag Gym with full attendance last March 30, the Urdaneta boys dominated the first three quarters, 23-17, 49-47, 75-64, but suddenly they found themselves disoriented at the start of the fourth and final period yielding an 11-0 spree orchestrated by Sto. Tomas marquee players Ranier Allan Doral and Garnett Asuncion to tie the score, 87-87, 28 seconds left. Leading by just three points (90-87) with 18 seconds remaining, Urdaneta’s prolific forward Rolly Bravo who scored its team high 26 points, stole the ball off Asuncion, passed it to Arman Adviento to seal the match, 92-87.

In their second meeting held at Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) gym in Lingayen the following day, the Urdaneta boys of coach Rizaldy Garcia took the first two quarters by slim margin, 19-16, 35-31 with Bravo and co-forward Lawrence Batalla leading the charge for a combined 17 marks.  Sto. Tomas grabbed the third quarter by a mere point, 55-54, spearheaded by wily guard Asuncion and seldom used Menor who combined 13 marks of the team’s 24 points output. Urdaneta led by as many as 10 points halfway in the fourth and final quarter, 75-65, but the ‘never say die’ Sto. Tomas boys engineered a 13-3 binge to tie the score, 78-78. On the brink to win the match with the brilliant, well-built five-foot-five  Asuncion stole the ball from Bravo 3.8 seconds left. Unfortunately, Asuncion missed a hurried buzzer-beating finger roll shot that produced ahs and ohs from the crowd.
There was a tense, excited wait in the extra five minutes period but the solid Urdaneta boys gained the upper hand in the tight skirmish not letting Sto. Tomas to seize the front from thereon and finally won by just two points, 93-91, to enter in the championship, their first after three tries.

Likewise, two-time first runner-up Manaoag fired the first salvo in their best-of-three semifinals’ series against Lingayen last March 30. Playing at their home turf, the Manaoag boys of Mayor Kim Amador never bowed out, from the first three quarters, 29-21, 53-50, 83-72, and eventually victorious by eight points, 101-93. Four of its key players came in double figures with point-guards Adrian Barrozo and Manny Santos chipping in 26 and 20 points, respectively, with Joe Anthony Ignacio contributing 18 marks. The six-foot-three block specialist Mark Meneses added 16 points. The defending titlist Lingayen squad was led by Marben Mamaril with a game high 27 points while Manuelito Arias and Mark Castillo contributed 19 and 18 points, respectively.

According to the provincial sports officials led by executive officer Modesto Operania, the second game of these two top seeded teams supposed to be held on March 31 at NRSCC gym after the slam-dunk contest, was rescheduled to April 6 at the same venue, 3:00 p.m. Believe it or not, the slam-dunk contest was disrupted when Calasiao contestant Reynold Ballesteros broke the glass backboard during his second try. The six-footer Ballesteros was the winner of the three-point shootout.  (I was in Manaoag and Lingayen for the hostilities and in fact one of the three judges in the slam-dunk contest).

See you there at NRSCC on April 6, and at the Calasiao Sports Complex on April 7 at 10:00 a.m. in case a third game is called.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: And Jesus Christ said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent me. JOHN 8: 38

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