Brgy. 35, UNO-R, Probac win in 1st Bata Open Inv'l

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014


THE 2014 Nopsscea champion University of Negros Occidental Recoletos, Barangay 35 and Probac scored their first win in the 1st Barangay Bata Open Invitational basketball tournament which started Sunday at their newly-built gym.

Barangay captain Maui Huelar drew first blood as his wards from Barangay 35 spoiled VMA Global College, 89-86 in the opening game. Coaches Felipe Tumamot and Rex Bayer were a bit disappointed but took it in stride as the raw Sharks showed some promise in their first summer league.

Barangay 35's C. Cawaling was I-Mart best player scoring 19 points for coach Huelar, a former USLS Stinger, and Negros Slasher in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association.

Jade Paul Calma also got the I-Mart best player plum after UNO-R spanked Pabac, 113-93. The former Mansilingan Christian Academy star has 23 points, 15 coming from the triple area.

Small but terrible Peewee Demonteverde was a recipient of I-Mart best player award too as he drilled in 17 markers and rallied Probac to a come-from-behind-win over Petron Thunderbirds, 100-91.

The tiny wily guard poured all his points in the second half, hitting five three-pointers as Probac trailed by seven points with six minutes left. The ex-USLS Stinger has still the sting and is always a threat despite his size.

Tournament commissioner Leo Bat-og, a former UNO-R Ram, Negros Slasher and Sta. Lucia Realtor in the Philippine Basketball Association, did the ceremonial toss as councilman Barangay Bata.

Village chief Lito Abaring welcomed the participants and said he expects to see from this league another "Maui" or "Leo."

"I hope we could produce another one or two of these cagers who experienced big time basketball aside from finishing college through athletic scholarships," he said.

Tournament format calls for a single round robin elimination and a crossover semifinal among the top four. No. 1 goes up against No. 4 while No. 2 meets No. 3. The winners dispute the title in a knockout finale.

The champion will take home P8,000 and trophy; runner-up P5,000; and third P3,000.

The project of Bata Barangay Council got some support from Deonyson Dy of I-Mart.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 11, 2014.

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