Pangasinan losses first game in MPBL

By April 14, 2024Sports Eye

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

SINCE basketball is my third favorite sports in life, after cycling and boxing, I made it a point to watch the sixth season opening of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basket League (MPBL) hosted this time by Calasiao at the town’s sports complex that featured two of hostilities bannered by our province’s squad, the “Pangasinan Heatwaves.”

The amateur basketball tilt with a record of 30 teams participating, was organized and sponsored by our former world boxing champion, the legendary Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. As expected, the sports complex was filled to capacity, headed by Pacquiao himself, together with Gov. Ramon Guico III and Vice Gov. Mark Lambino, Calasiao Mayor Mark Stephen Macanlalay and former Bayambang town mayor Cesar T. Quiambao.

At the press conference, presided by Pacquiao, attended by national and provincial reporters, he shared his thoughts, about his purpose and objectives for sponsoring the league – to keep the youth busy, playing the sport and in hope that the league will discover talented cagers in this James Naismith-invented ballgame. According to Pacquiao, he already spent around a billion pesos since the start of the league six years ago. His other purpose is to help our society curb the drug menace that is seriously affecting our country. Aside from boxing and basketball, he said he also intends to sponsor or organize other sports like national volleyball games and multi-stage cycling events. That elated me since our two national multi-stage events, the Ronda Pilipinas was already discontinued two years ago and the Le Tour de Filipinas was suspended since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. I wish and hope his plan will really push through.

The first game was between the Valenzuela City team and the Zamboanga squad that saw the Metro Manila boys leading by four points in the first half, 47-43, then succumbed to the Chavacanos in the third juncture, 56-59, but tied the score, 71-71, at the end of the regulation time. Unfortunately, the Metro Manila boys eventually lost 76-82, in the five-minute extension period.

The main event of the day was a battle between Pangasinan squad and Abra five, two neophytes in the league. The Heatwaves trailed the Ilocanos, 21-25, in the first period, and 38-45, in the first half, surprisingly came up strong in the third quarter to lead by five points, 60-55. But the host Pangasinan squad failed to sustain its momentum in the final canto, and caved in the last two minutes, 83-75, to the dismay of the home crowd, including this writer. Calasiao already produced a prominent Philippine national team member PBA’s Toyota forward, my friend Orlando “Orly” Bauzon, who was a member of the RP squad during the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 1 JOHN 5: 20

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