Sports Eye

Battles for the fifth and last slot

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

AFTER the long break for the holiday season, hostilities in the 4th Governor’s Cup Pangasinan Inter-Town/City Basketball Tournament resumed on January 11. This is still not the next round among the four teams in each conference group (Central, Western, Eastern) that officially qualified for the next ladder. It’s still the battle among the six teams in each conference group that finished fifth to tenth places during the elimination round. According to the organizing Pangasinan Sports Development and Management Council (PSDMC) led by executive officer Modesto Operania, deputy Marlon Domalanta and the league’s overall commissioner Dr. Edilberto Abalos, the top winning team in each conference group will take the fifth and last spot better known as “wild card team” and officially qualifies for the next round, joining the four squads to make it five and 15 teams overall. Last that I heard from the PSDMC office, the 15 teams will be divided into two brackets, with seven and eight teams for each bracket, respectively.

Defending champion Urdaneta City topped the Central Conference group during the elimination round with nine victories sans loss. Three-time first runner-up finished second (8-1). My town Mangaldan, Malasiqui and Bayambang had identical 6-3 markers but Mangaldan and Malasiqui took the third and fourth slots, respectively, due to the goal-point system. Fighting for the fifth and last slot for the next round are Bayambang, San Carlos City, Sta. Barbara, Bautista, Laoac and Mapandan. These six towns battle with each other via single round-robin format starting on January 11 at Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center gym in Lingayen with Bautista tangling Mapandan (12 p.m.), Laoac versus Sta. Barbara (1:30 p.m.) and Bayambang faces neighbor San Carlos City (3:00).

Anda topped the Western Conference side with Lingayen, Binmaley and Alaminos City joining the top four qualifiers, respectively. Battling for the lone spot to qualify for the next step are Bugallon, Sual, Labrador, Mabini, Calasiao and Basista and early to battle against each other in the morning of January 11 also at NRSCC gym. Labrador meets Sual (9:00 a.m.) and Bugallon squares off with Mabini (10:30 a.m.)

As expected, Sto. Tomas topped the Eastern Conference area with Asingan, Umingan and Tayug joining Sto. Tomas as the top four qualifiers, respectively. Skirmishes are slated at San Roque ANP Pilot School gym in San Nicolas with Alcala against Balungao (9:30 a.m.) and San Nicolas vs Natividad (11:00 a.m.) Unfortunately, the hapless Sta. Maria five with zero victory during the elimination round pulled out from the tourney. Why? Your guess is also like mine.

Allow me to give you the complete January 12, 18 and 19 schedule of games:
WESTERN CONFERENCE, January 12, Sunday (Venue: NRSCC Gym, Lingayen)
Labrador vs. Bugallon (9:00 a.m.), Mabini vs. Calasiao (10:30 a.m.)
CENTRAL CONFERENCE (Venue: NRSCC Gym)
San Carlos City vs. Bautista (12:00 p.m.), Bayambang vs. Sta. Barbara (1:30 p.m.), Mapandan vs Laoac (3:00 p.m.)
EASTERN CONFERENCE (Venue: San Roque ANP Pilot School Gym, San Nicolas)
Balungao vs San Nicolas (9:30 a.m.), San Quintin vs Alcala (11:00 a.m.)
January 18 (Saturday)
WESTERN CONFERENCE (Venue to be announced)
Calasiao vs. Sual (9:00 a.m.), Labrador vs. Mabini (10:30 a.m.)
January 19 (Sunday)
Calasiao vs. Labrador (9:00 a.m.), Bugallon vs Sual (10:30 a.m.
CENTRAL CONFERENCE (Venue to be announced)
Mapandan vs San Carlos (8:00 a.m.), Bautista vs Sta. Barbara (9:30 a.m.), Laoac vs Bayambang (11:00 a.m.)
EASTERN CONFERENCE (Venue: San Roque ANP Pilot School Gym, San Nicolas)
Natividad vs San Quintin ((9;30 a.m.), San Nicolas vs Alcala (11:00 a.m.)

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. HEBREWS 11:6

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