IMPORT Landry Zanjo scored 29 points to anchor the win for University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos/Red House Taiwan Shabu Shabu over Colegio de Sta. Ana de Victorias/Silver Dragon, 86-76, as they captured the Negros Basketball Association (NBA) President’s Cup on Sunday at the Bacolod Tay Tung High School gym.
Zanjo was unstoppable inside the paint, scoring 10 points each in the second and third periods as Coach Gerome Aledron’s Rams took full control of the game as Patrick Yulo, Ritcher Santillan and Japhet Claridad provided the needed support.
Without Jerich Adorio due to suspension and Joseph Yoro because of flu, Coach Elvis Atinado and the Titans had difficulty stopping the red-hot Red House. “We really felt the absence of Adorio and Yoro in the rotation. We cannot gamble to pressure because they (Red House) are also making their shots,” Atinado said.
Silver Dragon had their best chance to come back halfway in the final period when they cut the lead to 7 points in the fourth after trailing by 21 points in the third period. CSAV's effort was not enough as Jeffrey Manday's 29 points came up short.
“Our import (Zanjo) was playing well and we just have to play better defense. And the boys did and we are grateful to win the NBA title on its return,” Aledron said.
Red House manager John Gilbor echoed Aledron’s statement after they lost to Silver Dragon in Game 2. “I reminded the players to stay focus and let go of Game 2. It was a tough game and we are happy to win this title. And, we are willing to join the next NBA tournament,” he added.
Also adding support for the winning team was Yulo with 11 points while Santillan and Claridad chipped in 10 points each.
Manday's 29 points lead Silver Dragon in a losing effort as Cameroonian reinforcement JR Essakadualla delivered 19 points and Carl Magbanua 11 points.
Named as Mythical Five are John Nermal of ESJ/Fyr Fyter/YBAC, Erwilson Santos of ABF Supreme/Silvergraces Construction, Manday of Silver Dragon, and Red House’s Zanjo and Claridad, who was also the Most Valuable Player (MVP).
For NBA president Oscar “Dodong” Bascon, this tournament is just another beginning and expecting more tournaments in the coming months.
Also gracing the finals is former Negros Slashers head coach Joe Noel, CSAV's former mentor John Imperio and VMA-GC's former coaches Godoy Cipriano and Bernard Omarrementeria.