Pangasinan elated over Heatwaves second win

By May 6, 2024Sports Eye

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

“LIGHTNING doesn’t strike twice at the same spot,” as the axiom says.

And that’s what exactly happened to our contingent to the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Sixth Season tournament last April 27. After losing its inaugural game against the league’s co-rookie squad the Abra Weavers,75-83, last April 6 during the grand opening held at Calasiao Sports Complex, the Pangasinan Heatwaves returned to town, strong and determined to repulse the visiting Marikina Shoemasters, 80-68, with much gusto to the big delight of our province mates that trooped to the sports arena. I watched how our methodical provincial quintet started fast and furious from the beginning to the end, dominating the four quarters, 23-21, 36-32, 57-47, 80-68! That raised the Heatwaves record to two wins with three losses. (I missed the first of the three pairs of games of the day but somebody handed me a report that the 2022 champion Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards subdued the Mindoro Tamaraws, 79-68, to boost up their drive for the title). I watched the second game how the Abra five came from 13 points behind thwarting eventually the Negros Mucovados, 69-57, improving their record to three wins with two defeats.

Recall that after Pangasinan’s defeat in the hands of Abra last April 6, our Heatwaves also succumbed to Valenzuela City Classic via a pulsating 85-86 score, 6.7 seconds left in the game, and again to the Quezon Province Huskers, 68-72. As of this writing (May 2) the round-robin elimination phase, the reigning champion Pampanga Golden Lanterns lead the 29 teams tourney with 3-1 win-loss slate. I heard from my reliable source that the Tarlac quintet quit the tourney due to financial constraints.

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I was sad to learn that during the third and final game of the best-of-three championship series of the 2024 LGU Mangaldan Inter-Commercial Basketball Tournament between Hygieia and ALSTECH teams, the game was marred by an ugly confrontation between Hygieia’s head coach Dr. Paul Palma and Jojo de Leon, one of the three referees, because of poor officiating by de Leon after the first quarter with ALSTECH leading by five points, 25-20. The exchange of words almost resulted in physical blows that Palma almost decided to give up the game but cooler heads prevailed. I went home after the first quarter because I was disgusted with De Leon. He was an incompetent whistle-blower, committing too many bad calls and I felt that the Hygieia five cannot win the game because of De Leon’s incompetence. Palma was clearly not against any member of the opposing team or the two arbiters namely Rey de Guzman and Soco (I forgot his first name).

Three hours after the skirmish, I heard from my son Jazy (assistant coach of Hygieia team) by phone that they lost the match by four points, 89-93. And I was right. Yes, “it was five against six,” as some enthusiasts commented. I couldn’t agree more. The championship reached the third game with Hygieia winning the first, 97-90, losing the second, 76-89, and then this final match. The mistake of the game’s commissioner was not having enough referees as reserve to correct poor officiating like FIBA did. Lesson learned.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous. EXODUS 23: 8

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