THE Cebu City Niños made history in girls’ basketball and gained revenge in boys’ volleyball in the Batang Pinoy National Championships in Baguio City yesterday.
The Niños got things going first in girls’ basketball as the Cebuano cagers became the first 5-on-5 champion in the sporting event for Under-15 athletes conducted by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).
Cebu City chalked up a 72-62 win over Pangasinan in the championship match at the St. Louis University Gym thanks to its pesky defense and fluid ball movement. Cebu City put its name in history as the first champion since the previous editions only had a 3-on3 event for female players.
A few minutes after the basketball game, the volleyball boys’ team sent more good news for Cebu City as it dethroned defending champion Davao del Norte in two straight sets, 25-16, 25-18, at the Recoletos Gym.
Cebu City did not only win the gold medal but exacted revenge against Davao del Norte after it watched the latter celebrate in front of Davao’s home crowd two years ago in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.
Cebu City’s Basketball coach Edilio Abellanosa described the recent feat as “a blessing from Sto. Niño”
“This is really a blessing. We got lucky since yesterday (Thursday),” said Abellanosa, referring to the semis match against Cebu Province where the breaks of the game favored them in the last seconds.
After a nip-and-tuck affair in the first half, Cebu City broke away from Pangasinan in the third quarter with a telling 10-run anchored on Darline Ragasajo, Melody Empasis and Fergie Ypilan that gave Cebu City a 13-point lead, 46-33.
Pangasinan refused to go down and mounted a fightback to trim down the deficit to two, 56-54, with six minutes to play before Cebu City finished them with a 14-4 run capped by Ragasajo’s three-pointer.
The Cebu City basketball team was represented by the students from Abellana National School.
“All the hard work of the team paid off. It was all worth it when we started the female basketball team in 2011,” said coach and ANS teacher Darwin Dinoy.
Volleyball coach Jonrey Sasing for his part said that it was a special run for the volleyball squad as they regained the crown they won in 2015 in Cebu .
“Of course we are very happy that we got the championship this year despite the challenges that we went through. I’m very proud of the performance of the players although the opponents were bigger than them, they showed that their heart is bigger,” Sasing told SunStar Cebu.
He added that the players were eager to get back the championship and it showed in every game.
Cebu City’s girls’ beach volleyball team, meanwhile, fell short of their gold medal hunt against Ponteverde, 21-18, 21-18, 15-7, in the championship match at the beach volleyball court in Baguio City Athletic Bowl.
Champion. Members of the Cebu City girls’ basketball team are all smiles after winning the gold medal in the Batang Pinoy national meet. (SunStar Foto/Ruel Rosello)
September 21, 2018
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