TRMH-CMO defends 'Araw' basketball title

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Thursday, March 20, 2014


HARDWORK and discipline paved the way for The Royal Mandaya Hotel-City Mayor's Office (TRMH-CMO) to defend its title via a rousing 76-63 win over MP Pacman Warriors in the championship match of the Mayor Rody and Vice Mayor Pulong Duterte 77th Araw ng Dabaw Commercial Invitational Basketball Tournament at the Almendras Gym Davao City Recreation Center that was filled to the rafters Wednesday evening.

U.S.-based Ronel Leuterio, who was asked by TRMH-CMO owner Glenn Escandor to mentor the team, praised the efforts of his players.

"This team is not about talent. Of course, each player has a talent. But the hardwork of this team beat the talent. With the discipline and team work that we have forged for a very short time paid off. The execution of players during crunch time also helped us give the win," Leuterio, who was named Best Coach, said in an interview with Sun.Star Davao after the game.

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He thanked Escandor for the privilege to coach the team, saying that it can do more in future tournaments with the same brand of cooperation and hardwork from its players.

The former Ateneo de Davao University basketball coach also cited his assistant coaches Miguel Solitaria, Pocholo Elegino, Mark Bonifacio, Dindo Pastor and Cadel Mosqueda for their support in the Christopher "Bong" Go-managed squad.

Trailing 26-31 with six minutes and 30 seconds to go in the second period, TRMH-CMO surged to an 13-1 run to snatch a 39-32 lead behind Dabawenyo John Ferriols, who hails from Toril, Hafer Mondragon and Darwin Cordero with 3:45 left in the canto. Rene Pacquiao and Jasper Callo, however, then made baskets for the Warriors but the defending champs through Ferriors, Jojo Tangkay, Nino Gelig and Dino Daa kept their rivals at bay, 58-48, only 3:48 remaining in the third.

The Pacman Warriors grabbed back-to-back streals but failed to convert them as their shooting woes continued on top of succumbing to costly turnovers and crucial errors going into the fourth, allowing TRMH-CMO to lead as much as 22 points, 70-52, 5:27 left in the game.

Efforts by the Warriors to recover proved futile as the TRMH-CMO showed too much firepower to secure the match and to clinch their back-to-back title.

Most valuable player Ferriols said, "I did not expect to win the MVP award. Our rivals put up a great fight." He sank 21 markers while Tangkay chipped in 14. Warriors Pacquiao and Louie Medalla combined for 29 points.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte awarded the championship trophy and the P100,000 cash prize to Escandor and the rest of the winners. The Pacman Warriors of Cong. Manny Pacquaio received P60,000 while Goldstar Hardware and Montaña Pawnshop claimed P50,000 and P30,000, respectively.

Goldstar Hardware defeated Montaña Pawnshop, 82-76, in their battle for third. Mike Harry poured in 24 points for the Ice Gravador-coached Goldstar Hardware while Jay Cabañog, Leomer Losentes and Dong Escobal added 13 each.

Duterte thanked participants for making the event successful. Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office (SDD-CMO) officer-in-charge William "Butch" Ramirez awarded certificates of appreciation to team owners Escandor, Cong. Pacquiao, Armand Quibod of Montaña Pawnshop and Winston Ho of Goldstar Hardware. Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) regional director Regino "Boy" Cua also received a similar token. (With report from Merle Dawn S. Comidoy)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 21, 2014.

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