St. Mary’s Fiats: Whipping boys no more in Oro basketball

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Friday, December 27, 2013

THEY’RE maybe not the greatest team today in local cage front, but the St. Mary’s School Fiats can be considered as the biggest thing that happened in Cagayan de Oro Inter-School basketball in the year that is about to end.

Surviving the city elimination in the face of perennial favorites Sacred Heart of Jesus Montessori School (SHJMS), Corpus Christi and Xavier University, the SMS junior dribblers –who used to be the big 3’s whipping boys -- came, saw and conquered the rival teams in Tubod, Lanao del Norte to emerge as the NMRAA Regional Meet’s secondary boys champions.

Thus, the spirited Fiats of head coach Rene Ilogon and assistant coach Chow Vega qualified for the first time in the prestigious Palarong Pambansa to be held early next year in Laguna province.

Team CdeO’s elementary squad -- represented by Corpus Christi and some Sacred Heart toddlers -- also hurdled the Northern Mindanao Regional Athletic Association (NMRAA) Meet’s basketball elimination at the Mindanao Civic Center in Tubod, overwhelming Team Malaybalay in the finals by 30 points.

“Dili sayon among giagian, halos mag- backout `mi coz there’s a lot of heavy baggages prior to our trip to Lanao Norte,” shared Ilogon who tried to get the services of two reliable players from Sacred Heart as reinforcement in Tubod—but to no avail.

“Kon gipahulman lang si Fabiaña ug Gallardo, makasiguro gyod ko sa championship,” Ilogon earlier told this writer.

Without the Sacred Heart pair, however, the SMS Fiats crushed host Lanao Norte, 61-45 and Malaybalay, 70-50 in the elimination round. They nearly fumbled but withstood the semis challenge of Misamis Oriental, 61-57 before outlasting Iligan, 77-58 in a fight-marred championship game.

All in all, Ilogon’s wards were able to figure out in eight championship games this year (4 in Cosaa, 1 in Milo Best-Pasarelle, 1 in Jolas Cup, 1 in City Triangular Meet and 1 in NMRAA).

“Obviously, 2013 is a good season for SMS basketball as we wound up five of the eight championship games that we played,” summed up Ilogon who quickly acknowledged the training program of his coaching buddy (Vega) for the mercurial rise of SMS basketball.

Completing COAA’s (Cagayan de Oro Athletic Association) triumphant roster were SMS boys Kiko Alcantara, Emil Artajo, Dan Baang, Kobe Canoy, Patrick Daabay, Garri Dy, Jay Gabuya, Buzi Ilogon, Miggy Paras and Makmak Payla and Clint Repaso of Merry Child School and Ron Salido of Cagayan de Oro College. (Lynde Salgados)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 27, 2013.


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