Goldstar Hardware bags 2nd Kadayawan cage title

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Saturday, August 23, 2014


WHILE no champion was hailed last year due to a controversial game fixing, Thursday night was the exact opposite as the Goldstar Hardware crowned itself 2014 Mayor Rody and Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte Kadayawan Commercial Basketball Tournament champion with some 3,000 basketball-loving Dabawenyos as witnesses.

Goldstar Hardware, owned by Winston Ho, hacked out a 76-68 win over Montaña Pawnshop in the finals match held at Almendras Gym Davao City Recreation Center.

In the battle for third, The Royal Mandaya Hotel-City Mayor's Office (TRMH-CMO) crushed MP Hotel Warriors, 82-54.

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Team owner Ho, "Lipay kaayo kay last namo nag champion sa Kadayawan katong 2011 pa (I'm so happy since the last time we became Kadayawan champion was in 2011)."

Best coach Gravador, in a text message, said, "I would like to thank the Lord God for the championship. I'm happy for the players and the management. It was a very grueling four days, we played four tough games. I'm proud that the boys were able to pull it through.

As for the best coach, I honestly did nothing. The players found ways to overcome our obstacles. I didn't deserve the award."

Former Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC) Crusaders standout John Paul Escobal, who also had a stint in the PBA, led the Ice Gravador-coached Goldstar Hardware with 16 points including two consecutive crucial triples that cut Montaña's lead to three, 29-26, barely four minutes and 22 seconds left in the second period.

Montaña's Glen Manlangit answered with a trey of his own for a 32-26 lead but Goldstar's Ipe Refuerzo's charity basket and Leomer Losentes' back-to-back jumpers made it a one-point ball game, 32-31.

Ronald Lamocha and Kenny Guibay, however, combined for six points to stretch Montaña's lead, 38-33, at the break.

At the start of the third, Goldstar Hardware surged to a 15-10 rally to force a first deadlock at 48-all behind Gryann Mendoza, Escobal, Devon Sullivan, Losentes and Jay Cabañog with only 4:04 left. But Montaña's Bob Ombecan, Aldrin Blanco and Edgar Awitin countered to snatch a 54-48 advantage with 2:44 remaining in the quarter.

Both teams then figured into a series of costly turnovers until Escobal and Mendoza converted two penalty baskets each and Cabañog made a basket to equalize, 54-all. Gravador's wards tightened defense and capitalized on the Montaña's errors to grab the lead for the first time, 58-56, at the end of the third behind Sulivan's two free throws and lay-up.

A series of lead changes then ensued as Goldstar and Montaña tied for three more times at 60-all, 63-all and 66-all. Reliable Escobal pumped a triple for a Goldstar edge, 69-66, while Montaña's Steve Acono made two out of two on the free throw line to come close 68-69, only 2:59 to go in the game.

Lamocha, however, was slapped his fifth foul in the final 2:48, crippling the defense of Montaña and leaving Acono as the only big man for the Nick Serafica-mentored squad. Basco sank two penalty shots as Escobal scored on back-to-back jumpers for Goldstar to break away, 75-68, in the final 37.7 seconds. Losentes sealed Goldstar's hard-fought win by splitting his free throws.

Goldstar players, coaches, officials and supporters were seen jumping, cheering and hugging each other as the final buzzer rang. They showered each other with water before receiving the champion's trophy and P100,000 cash prize during the awarding rites led by assistant city administrator Erwin Alparaque, Sports Development Division of the City Mayor's Office (SDD-CMO) officer-in-charge William "Butch" Ramirez and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) regional director Regino "Boy" Cua.

Mendoza and Sullivan chipped in 14 points each as Losentes added 10 for Goldstar. Manlangit poured in 17 markers for Montaña including five triples while Acono accounted for 14.

Escobal, who received P5,000 and a trophy having been hailed as most valuable player, told Sun.Star Davao in an interview: "Charge to experience lang talaga. Anytime ako i pull out ni coach ready ako. It's really a total team effort."

Montaña settled for the runner-up prize of P60,000 while third-placer TRMH-CMO received P40,000 and MP Hotel Warriors claimed P30,000.

Meanwhile, Daniel Fuentes bested fellow Montaña player Steve Acono for the Slam Dunk title while Miko Estrellante also of Montaña emerged three-point shootout champion, beating MP Hotel's Adrian Yusop and Montaña's Manlangit who placed second and third, respectively. The side events were sponsored by Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 23, 2014.

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