TRMH-VMO crowned ‘Araw’ champions-A A +A
Saturday, March 16, 2013
WHO would ever think that newly-crowned Mayor Inday Sara and Vice Mayor Rody Duterte 76th Araw ng Dabaw Commercial Basketball Tournament champion The Royal Mandaya Hotel-Vice Mayor's Office (TRMH-VMO) was only assembled in two weeks.
Yes, it only took two weeks to form the powerhouse cast team that dethroned 2012 Araw ng Dabaw champion Montaña Pawnshop via a 93-85 finals overtime win at the Almendras Gym Davao City Recreation Center that was filled to the rafters on Friday evening.
TRMH-VMO's Ramsey Williams, Lou Gatumbato, Julius Pasculado, Edward Asuncion, Chris Calaguio, Hercules "Jojo" Tangkay, Mark Magsumbol, Francis "Kiko" Adriano, Hafer Mondragon, Mark Jeffries, JR Gerilla, Mark Andaya, Ervin Sotto and Cedric Happi all combined efforts to foil Montaña's title-retention bid following a crucial corner triple basket by Jumabon Bulac in the last 11 seconds, forcing the game into a five-minute extension.
TRMH-VMO head coach Miguel Solitaria, in text messages to Sun.Star Davao yesterday, said: "We did not entertain nerves nor fear when the game went into overtime. We knew we had the edge when it comes to crunch time since our players are more seasoned and we really prepared for the game."
Solitaria cited the huge contribution of Adriano, Calaguio and Tangkay in pulling off with the win, the second straight for TRMH-VMO that also held the Kadayawan sa Dabaw title. TRMH-VMO team is owned by Glenn Escandor and managed by Christopher "Bong" Go. Adriano canned 17 points while Calaguio and Mark Andaya each made 15.
Tangkay was hailed most valuable player (MVP) of the four-day league that was organized by Liga Dabaw, Inc., presented by the city government of Davao through the Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office and sanctioned by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.
Slam dunk king Devon Sullivan, meanwhile, led scoring for the Nick Serafica-coached Montaña Pawnbrokers with 22 points.
"I thank the coaching staff for we have had series of meetings to discuss our game plan. I also thank The Royal Mandaya Hotel and the Vice Mayor's Office for giving us all the support that we need," Solitaria said.
Rhoel Josol, Bambi Santander, Dindo Pastor, Cadel Mosqueda and Mark Bonifacio formed part of his coaching staff.
Solitaria, who coaches High School and college basketball teams, admitted it was more challenging to mentor a commercial squad for the very first time.
He found it difficult to determine the level of intervention that the team needs. He also thanked his mentor Ronel Leuterio for giving him advices.
Tangkay said they just focused on the game, saying, "It was really a team effort."
Adriano said, "We anticipated to have a tough game so we all prepared for it. We really aimed for the title. I always wanted to give my best in every situation and we just gave the bosses what they deserved."
Adriano went on thanking Escandor for putting up the team, the coaches, staff and the very warm Dabawenyo crowd.
Escandor, for his part, said he wanted to give the people of Davao a good and total entertainment by way of fielding a very highly competitive team composed of not only popular but also skilled players.
"It's also for the love of the game," Escandor added.
Go, on the other hand, said the championship was indeed thrilling.
"Fortunately, the breaks of the game went to us in the overtime. This (championship) is sweeter the second time around. This is our second straight title since we merged as TRMH-VMO team for commercial tournaments. Truly, this is a good combination," Go said.
Go also said that Vice Mayor Rody gave the players inspiration to give the team another championship. The latter also urged the TRMH-VMO team to give Dabawenyos enjoyment through quality basketball.
Team consultant Jek-Jek Melendres said they will eye for a grand slam when they defend their Kadayawan crown in August.
TRMH-VMO received a cash prize of P100,000 while Montaña claimed P75,000. Goldstar Hardware, a 95-71 winner over Team Villar in their battle for third, got P50,000 even as Team Villar settled for P30,000.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 17, 2013.