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Tuesday, July 23, 2019
CAGAYAN DE ORO

Disabled coach inspires Sharks to win NBTC title

CAGAYAN DE ORO. Rey Dangcal brims with joy after winning the NBTC League Cagayan de Oro final for Southern Philippine College (SPC) He is with his dad El Salvador Councilor Reynaldo Dangcal (right photo) and sports journalist Jaime Frias III celebrating their win over Assumption Montessori School (AMS) Jaguars. (SunStar photo by Jack Biantan)

IN HIS five years as basketball coach with the Southern Philippine College Sharks, coach Reynolds Dangcal considers his win over Assumption Montessori School Sunday evening for the Chooks-To-Go National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) League Cagayan de Oro championship crown as his biggest win so far in his short basketball coaching career.

He mentored the SPC Baby Sharks to a 83-63 demolition of defending champion Assumption Montessori School to advance to the Northern Mindanao championship set on Feb. 16-17 also at the Xavier University gym.

“Sunday night was the most memorable because of how the players played the crucial game with poised and perfect mind set. But most of all my players followed our game plan perfectly,” he said.

The win put the Sharks into the Northern Mindanao Regional finals set on Feb 16 & 17 at XU Gym.

They will play against NOLI Nat'l High School (Bayugan City), La Salle Academy (Iligan City), Timber City Academy (Butuan City), Infant Jesus School (Bukidnon) and Surigao City Nat'l High School (Surigao City).

Top team will represent Mindanao together with other teams from the Southern Mindanao and Western Mindanao regions in the National finals at the MOA Arena in Pasay City in March.

Rey is considered as among the best young basketball coach in Cagayan de Oro today but what is amazing is that coach Rey is the only paraplegic coach that I have known in my entire life.

He was a member of the Letran Knights in Manila in the mid-2000’s and had a bright PBA career ahead of him. However, he met a motorcycle accident while on holiday in CdO in December of 2008.

This ended his playing career as he suffered a broken back and could no longer walk. However, this did not hinder him to pursue his passion for the sport he loved.

The sport he has been playing since he was a child growing up in El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental with his parents retired police Colonel and now El Salvador City councillor Reynaldo Dangcal and retired teacher Teresa Labis Dangcal and his siblings.

After the accident he was wheelchair bound. His disability did not hinder him from getting involved in basketball. He still has the knowledge and he only thinks of basketball. Then Lourdes College gave him the opportunity to coach their college team. That was when he started his basketball coaching career.

From a team who never won anything, he led Lourdes to two final appearances in the Cagayan de Oro Athletic Association (COAA). SPC noticed him and the bigwigs of the school did not waste any time and hired him.

That then started the strong basketball program of the school. Thanks also to the endless support of the SPC owners, Chief Operating Officer Pam Hao and Sports Coordinator Marcelo Reambonanza, the school has become a basketball powerhouse.

Aside from coaching SPC, Rey is also the sports coordinator of El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental where his dad Reynaldo is a city councilor. He has a lot of sports program not only for basketball lined-up for the youngsters of the city.

But as of the moment, he mindset in on February 16 to 17 for the regional championship of the NBTC League where he expects tough competition from players of Bukidnon, represented this time by the Infant Jesus School.

“They have a strong basketball program in Bukidnon and we even have some good players like Jericho Montecalvo who are from the province. We will be ready for them,” coach Rey said.

Dethroned Cagayan de Oro champions AMS Jaguars was the National champion in Division 2 of the annual tournament in 2017 beating St. Jude College of Dasmariñas, Cavite in the final.

It was a great feat for AMS coach James Racines which is very difficult to follow. Coach Rey has indeed very large shoes to fill up and he is just starting. Let us just pray that he can follow the footsteps of Racines wearing those big shoes.

(l.biantan@gmail.com)


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