Sports Eye

PBA, Gov. Pogi’s league winding down

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

WE watched last Wednesday night how the multi-titled San Miguel five survived a come from behind victory over TNT, 99-94, and seized the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup best-of-three championship series, 3-2, one win away for the throne. It was impressive how the boys of head coach Leo Austria after trailing the first three quarters, 28-22, 49-44 and 80-69, successfully applied a superb caustic defense in the dying seconds of the match against TNT’s playmaker and the league’s Best Import Conference Terrence Jones to the delight of the SMB’s raucous fans not only inside the arena but everywhere especially those who placed their bets on SMB. Clearly, it was the SMB wily  guard Chris Ross who sealed the win because of his successful charity shots 4.1 seconds left,  but it was SMB’s import Chris McCollough’s who made the big difference by draining in four free throws after a 94-95 disadvantage to grab the front by three marks, 97-94, 33 seconds remaining.

 The Beermen might finish the series tomorrow, August 16 (I’m writing this piece August 15).  If the series reaches seven with TNT winning the sixth, for sure it will be a slam-bang match on Sunday with TNT having the momentum.  Because basketball is the number one sport of the Filipinos, I expect a million bettors in the entire the archipelago making their own terms and hedges. Some will do it just for fun but gamblers will take it seriously. Let’s wait and see.

In the local scene, the best-of-three finals of the 3rd Pangasinan Inter-LGU Unity Games 2019 is also winding up. In Group A, defending champion San Carlos City subdued Bayambang, 87-80, in their first game and Group B finalist and last year first-runner-up Bugallon thwarted defending titleholder Urbiztondo, 81-67, both held last August 9 at Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) gym in Lingayen. If lucky, both San Carlos City and Bugallon will put an early end to the finals tomorrow at the same venue. If not, the third and final encounter will be probably held on August 23 and most likely to be staged again at NRSCC. I will be there.

The annual tourney is one of the successful sports pet projects of Gov. Amado “Pogi” I. Espino, lll. More tourneys to come after this.

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Ronda Pilipinas chief organizer Mo Chulani was in my town Mangaldan last August 14 and asked me and my son Jazy to arrange a meeting with the sports-minded Gov. Amado “Pogi” Espino, III, Pangasinan Sports Development and Management Council (PSDMC) executive officer Modesto Operania and its deputy executive officer Marlon Domalanta about the staging of the 2020 Ronda Pilipinas sixth lap that will start and finish in the capital town of Lingayen on February 29, 2020.  We did and without any hesitation, after meticulously and carefully studying the details of the sixth stage, the youthful and sports-minded province chief executive Espino gave his nod to the proposal. This naturally elated the visiting Ronda six officials. After our dialogue with the governor, we also made a courtesy call on Lingayen’s hizzoner, Leopoldo N. Bataoil, also a well-known sports buff particularly in the field of volleyball, cycling and basketball. And like Gov. Pogi, the good father of the town, Bataoil, did not have to think twice to support the proposed project. The planned route is to traverse the western towns with an approximate distance of 135 kilometers.
See you there, sports fans.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK:Therefore, do not let your good be spoken of as evil; For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.ROMAS 14: 16-17

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