WE HAVE our own tall, lanky Mr. Wonderful Conrad Fernando in Boom Boom Jerios, the man in charge of our offensive and defensive backboard in the Inday Sara Green, darkhorse team of the on-season tri-media basketball tournament at the Davao City Recreational Center.

Andy Rara's accurate three-point shooting had been a great help but it was Carl Eric Alindao who gave us the Richard Madelo-like point production in the 81-79 cliffhanger win delivered by Develos in the final-second free throws versus the strong White team.

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Although age doesn't matter for the team with Jon Develos around, we do not pretend to be as active as the Ateneo de Davao University, who had shown consistent progress in their training by annexing the Ched Regional Meet last week at the UM Matina campus.

Meanwhile, Miguel Solitaria at the high-fly zone had shown to us how to completely dominate the quartet of the original one-Davao province of Davao del Sur, del Norte and Oriental beating the Davao triad by a minimum of 20 points against Davao del Sur in the finals and maximum of 50 points versus Davao Oriental as Davao City's first assignment.

Richard Madelo was hot in the three-point and perimeter areas and gave Davao City most of the crucial points. Reinforcing the Solitaria-Madelo-Fernando trio were the hotshots of University of Mindanao’s Arnold Adormeo, Agro-Industrial's Eugene Torres, Jose Maria College's Bryan Montero and Holy Cross of Davao College's Nard John Pinto.

The Davao selection will be sent to Manila for the Ched National Championship with another boost from the new recruits of UM Digos Kim Tagarao and Rex Cresencio, the team that posed the greatest challenge to Davao City in the regional meet.

The Davao-Addu, JMC, UM, Agro, HCDC, UM Digos selection will be representing the region in the national championship next month and hope that they will do it this time. Without the strong, highly-trained slotmen of JMC, Agro plus the slippery point guard of UM in the purely Addu quintet during the previous University Games, the team came close to beating the UAAP champion Ateneo de Manila by leading at least eight points in the first half.

Our UM Digos, Ateneo, JMC, UM main, Agro, HCDC Davao team moves just like most of the Manila squads. I told Conrad Fernando that one great difference is that the ones in the NCR do own one psychological edge which is nationwide glamour.

They also own one of the most important elements in basketball which is height although Fernando's six-foot-five frame is just two inches below UAAP MVP Rabeh Al-Hussaini's six-foot-seven and the former has been shooting the ball farther than Rabeh's perimeter spin.

Both Solitaria and Fernando had tried playing in Manila already while the rest like Madelo and the Digos boys will get the chance of displaying their wares right where the Manila talent scouts will be watching.

Hopefully, the stronger Davao selection will make it against the top teams of the Visayas and the National Capital Region. They should as the team had been preparing hard with new strategies and team plays to compliment with the new and stronger selection.

Ateneo Beat: We will do our very best. - Coach Cholo Elegino