'Unifying' Memorial game

ANOTHER "Pangkoy" moment fruitfully shared.

For the sixth-straight year, the Honorable Roldan "Pangkoy" Lagbas Memorial basketball friendship game served as the unifying bond between two of Cagayan de Oro's most popular ballclubs -- Ballpals and Subokin -- whose members were mostly friends by the late local cage icon.

The annually-held "Death Anniversary Game" for the former Provincial Board (PB) member of Misamis Oriental also unified in "sporting spirit" rival politicians in Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno and Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano.

"Two popular ball clubs as one big family. Natigom gyod ni Pangkoy iyang mga amigo sa basketball, including Mayor Moreno and Governor Emano nga nag-donate gyod og lechon. And this is just a start for a better tomorrow," said Charome "The Amazing" Marte of Metro Bank and CDO basketball.

On Saturday, July 27, after offering a prayer at the Oro Garden, selected players from Subokin and Ballpals engaged in a friendly match at Xavier Estates gym.

It was a tight game right from the start with Subokin relying on the huge presence of Erwin Raagas and Tarash Lagbas in the middle, steady jumpers of Balong Lagbas and Marte, 3-point shooting of Jun Sotsot' Dy and playmaking jobs of Arvin Martinez, Allan Enteria and the most improved Alberto BertLaz's Lazaro III.

Ballpals gamely responded with the hulk shot of Samboy Uy, inside baskets of Janjan Arcaya, Larry Bagayna and Dencio Villamor, off-the-glass consistency of Noel "Kid" Escobido, perimeter jumpers of lawyer Dodong Bonete and speedy play of ageless pointguard Winie Daba.

In the dying seconds, however, Bong Mercado missed a potential game-tying hurried lay-up from just below the free throw line that paved the way for Subokin's pulsating 68-64 win over Ballpals.

"It was such an exciting finish. But more than that, in behalf of Pangkoy and his family, dako kaayo among pasalamat sa Ballpals group for heeding the invitation. Nakasiguro ako nga malipayon siya (Roldan Lagbas) sa atong panagtigom," said event coordinator in erstwhile Claveria mayor and Subokin coach Rocky Calingin.

Roldan's family spearheaded by his brothers, Jun and Buchok and widow, Susan, took turns in thanking old Subokin and Ballpalsregulars such as Entot Puertas, Bobby Jacutin, Bobby Diaz, Arnel "DyShine" Dy, Andit Mendoza, Dandan Guevara, Jojo Udasco, Angel Dollente, Oliver Velasco, Jerry Suyao, Rommel Ostria and Thirdie Cui for spending time to be with them.

"Kining sa Ballpals, dili pud ko malimot kay dire gyod nagsugod si Roldan ga tsinelas pa sa ilang dula sa una," a teary-eyed Susan recalled.


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