Heatwaves still down with 2-6 win-loss card

By May 26, 2024Sports Eye

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.


PANGASINAN’s booming town Calasiao under the leadership of the town’s sports-minded Mayor Kevin Roy Macanlalay hosted again the country’s famous amateur basketball league, the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) for the third time last May 18 that featured our provincial quintet called “Pangasinan Heatwaves.”

Like their first two games at the Calasiao Sports Complex last April 6 and April 27, I watched the third match of our local squad against the undefeated (5-0) visiting Biñan Five of Laguna province. Unfortunately, like what happened to them during their inaugural game, after they displayed marvelous comeback performance after trailing by 20 points (38-58) in the third quarter of the match, our Pangasinan contingent eventually succumbed to the more skilled Laguna squad 72-75, their second defeat after three skirmishes. But despite their loss, Pangasinenses and visitors inside the arena (including this writer) gave them thumbs up and loud cheers for their gallant efforts in the dying minutes of the game that rattled and confused the Laguna boys. In fact, the league’s commissioner former PBA standout Kenneth Duremdes said he was also impressed with the splendid rally of our boys. “Kinapos sila ng oras,” he said, when I talked to him briefly after the hostility. It was the same thought that echoed in many spectators’ minds, including this writer’s.

Our local boys never led the skirmish from start to finish, converting only 7 points at the end of first quarter, while the Laguna boys tallied 18 marks. Laguna enhanced its lead to 15 points, 44-29, after 20 minutes of play, orchestrating three unmolested fast break runs. Some spectators, seated beside me, already predicted that the two remaining quarters will end for the visiting Laguna boys because our local boys didn’t show they had a chance to win the hostility. Well, they were right because we eventually lost the match. But expect the unexpected! The mood changed when our locals engineered a 13-2 run in the third canto with successful four three-point shots and perfect free throws while the enemy missed three charity shots. Our boys trailed the match by just five points, 53-58, after the third, to the wild cheers of the jam-packed bleachers. The fast-moving game got everyone on their feet, including Mayor Macanlalay, this writer, my son Jazy and family and my first cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Aquino. The visiting Laguna five won but not without a see-saw battle, 75-72, and succeeded in protecting its perfect record, six wins sans loss, while our local squad was down to 2-6 win-loss card as of May 23.

Despite the defeat, the hometown crowd noticeably left the sports center happy. I asked commissioner Duremdes if there will be more Calasiao hosting of the MPBL tourney that will feature our Pangasinan Heatwaves again. He smiled, so I know he will try but the final decision will all be made by former world boxing champion and ex-Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, the big boss of MPBL. From what I’ve seen, our young boys perform well from three-points corners and rate high in converting their free throws, 20 out of 25 attempts, compared to Binan’s, 28 out of 35). But they also missed some easy shots and I believe that cost them the game. Yes, our local squad need to sharpen their skills further to win their remaining games in order to enter the quarterfinals.

The first two games of the day was a win by Muntinlupa City over Bataan, 69-63, and Davao over Rizal, 79-59.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to endure His indignation. JEREMIAH 10: 10

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