IT LOOKS like a championship game, though it never was.
Team Uyangurin’s Black Knights on Tuesday, November 22, battled back from 15-point third-quarter deficit to nose out Team Romuls’ Red Warriors in a 65-63 thriller to take the solo leadership in the Green Cagayan de Oro Eagles Club’s second President’s Cup basketball tournament at Kauswagan village’s covered court in Cagayan de Oro City.
With the slightly-favored Romuls holding a 2-point lead with barely 10 seconds left in the fourth and final quarter, Loloy Casiño—who struggled all night long on the offensive end, hit a looming trey to complete Uyangurin’s mighty comeback and a perfect 3-0 record.
“Grabe nga dula mora na’g championship game,” said the club’s outgoing president Dr. Wellbourne Neri, whose White Stallions earlier triumphed over Team Allorin’s winless Yellow Cabs, 71-63.
Added the El Presidente Neri: “Mao-mao nga tres ni Kuya Loy Cas pero kon wala pa na-shot sure loss gayod ang Black”.
The Black Knights’ miraculous win also served as a perfect birthday gift to power forward Waway `Vin Diesel’ Arocha and fellow Scorpio Koykoy Macapayag, who celebrated his own a day before Waway’s natal day (November 22).
“P’wersado maningkamot kay adlaw sa atong papart nga kuya,” said Lynde `Stev Panaz’ Salgados, the league’s smallest guy, who rattled off 8-straight points when Uyangurin grabbed a 10-point first quarter advantage, 18-8.
Fronted by the towering tandem of Ranran Bantawig and Janjan Babiera, Romuls power however worked wonder in the second frame when the Red Warriors pulled off a 16-4 bounce back that left the Black Knights constantly lagging behind by twin-digit numbers up to the pay-off period.
“Pasalamat ko una sa atong Ginoo sa dakong grasya nga dugang lugway sa kinabuhi ug mga kauban sa team nga bisan dos puntos ug mga assists ra akong naabag nidaug gihapon `mi,” a super elated Waway said.
Macapayag and "Reggie Miller" Encoy paced Uyangurin with 18 and 12 points each. While Salgados and Neri added 10 markers apiece.
Team Romuls got 17, 11 and 9 points each from Babiera, Francisco, and Bantawig.
In the first game, Team Neri White’s first ever win was inspired by the solid play of Marvin "Kuya John Lloyd" Neri, Gilbert Magdugo, and Jojo Lim who came up with 22, 16 and 10 points each.
Team Baba’s Blue Sharks improved to 3-1 and a solo second place after a pulsating 64-61 victory against Anjun Gomez Team Green Alam Na.
The Blue Sharks withstood the 26-point eruption of Green’s Tata Bajao behind the balanced efforts of Cyrus Diango, Alcover, Gelogo, Salera and Charlie "D Machoman" Butron on both ends of the floor.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on November 24, 2016.