Willtrade/Phoenix capture title-A A +A
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
THE long wait is over. It's a fitting tribute for Team Manager Willy Au who bankrolled the team and great relief to star player Carlos Chu, the heart and soul of the team, and team captain Siopao Dichavez who carried the load since its inception from being a lowly and ragtag team three years ago into the dominating team that it is today.
Going into the knockout semi final round last Saturday, the Rey Pandoro-coached team Willtrade/Phoenix demolished back-to-back defending champion Davies Paints by a whopping 37-point margin.
The victory made them the heavy favorite to beat Avenue Suites who came from behind 14 points to upset top team MS Tablet in the other semifinal match.
Willtrade/Phoenix entered the championship match as the best offensive and defensive team in the tourney, averaging almost 100 points per game while limiting their opponents to an average of 63 points.
And that's just what happened in the championship match.
In the 1st quarter, Avenue Suites played tight defense to stifle Willtrade/Phoenix's old guards and limit the usually high-scoring team to only a 10 point lead at 23-13, as Bong Lopez was limited to only 7 points and Tong Yap added 5 points.
In the 2nd quarter, the young guns of Willtrade/Phoenix surprised Avenue Suites with a full-court press and suffocating double-teaming defense while employing a no let-up run and gun fast game to totally outclass and get the sting out of Avenue Suites' firepower.
So overpowering was Willtrade/Phoenix that it went on a scoring spree with Malvin Pineda scoring 25 big quarter points coupled with the able quarterbacking of Jepoy Nieles who chipped in 15 points. With the defensive and rebounding gem of Third Deloso and Anton Genobata and the 3-point sniping of Roy Dominguez and Oscar Du, the team exploded to a 53 points 2nd quarter while limiting Avenue Suites to a measly 9 points to end the half with a formidable 76-22 lead.
Sensing victory at hand and chanting "no mercy," Willtrade/Phoenix continued their rampage in the 3rd quarter, as they upped the lead to as far as 60 points led by Jan Nico Yap's 8 points, Carlo Chu 7 points and supported by Shenly Uy and Dino Chua.
Avenue Suites Gene Sibaya and Luis Genobata made a stand with 13 points and 7 points respectively but to no avail, as the quarter ended with Willtrade/Phoenix enjoying a 95-45 cushion to enter the 4th quarter.
The final quarter became a friendly and harmonious game, as both teams played loosely and just traded shots. The last 6 minutes saw Willtrade/Phoenix's old guards Rodolph “Katse” Reyes, Joseph Sian, Albert Co and Doc Antipuesto playing their hearts out and sustaining the momentum.
With victory at hand in the last 2 minutes, banners were unfurled as Willtrade/Phoenix and their supporters erupted in euphoria. The game ended with the score at 110-75.
Leading scorers for Willtrade/Phoenix are Malvin Pineda with 25 points, Jepoy Nieles 18 points, Nico Yap 8 points, Carlo Chu 7 points, Bong Lopez 7 points and Katse Reyes, Roy Dominguez, Oscar Du with 6 points each.
Avenue Suites was led by Gene Sibaya with 28 points, Luis Genobata with 9 points and Jorge Canlas with 9 points.
Willtrade/Phoenix also emerged champion in badminton and 1st runner-up in bowling.
In the battle for 3rd, MS Tablet defeated Davies 101 to 74.
Team manager Willy Au credited his team's victory to patience, guts, hard work and focus.
Commisioner Vic Tan, in a message before the championship game, thanked all the teams, sponsors and players for the successful basketball tournament. Commissioner Bobby Tee also expressed great satisfaction on the tournament and declared to expect a more efficient and power-cast alumni basketball tournament next season.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 19, 2012.