“WE WON’T be expecting much but the boys are determined to give their best. Yes, we’ll be trying our very best.”
Saying this, coach Carlomagno Dagalea prepares his wards on Wednesday’s hour-long drill at the Corpus Christi gym for the big battle ahead.
The Corpus Christi Baby Knights will leave on Friday for Roxas City, Capiz province to represent Mindanao in the National Finals of the 2019 Milo Best SBP/Pasarelle basketball tournament starting on Saturday, November 23 in the company of Xavier University (XU) Junior Crusaders.
Dagalea’s Baby Knights made it to the finals in the Small Basketeers Philippines (SBP) category at the expense of Ateneo de Davao. While the Junior Crusaders of coach Manny Diaz qualified after a long-drought seasons by defeating Rizal Memorial Colleges of Davao during the Mindanao Finals in Davao City.
Last year, Corpus Christi swept the Mindanao’s SBP and Pasarelle titles, also in Davao, but were simply overpowered by taller rivals in the national championships.
“After almost 20 years karon lang nga tuig nakabalik ang Xavier University sa Milo Best National Finals so lipay kaayo `mi nga mga XU parents nga napadaug ni coach Manny D ang mga bata sa Davao Mindanao Finals,” said Paul “Shantao” Moreno.
Unable to bring home the bacon last year, coach Dagalea said the local squads have a lot of adjustments to do especially against the qualifiers from Manila and Visayas.
“Defending national champion La Salle is expected to be strong with their taller frontliners. Runner-up University of Visayas (UV) is also a team to watch with their fast-running game style. We are making adjustments sa among defense. By doing so, we could minimize the production of the big men of La Salle and slow down the running game of UV,” Dagalea said.
Comprising the XU Crusaders are Francis Louis Balaba, Miguel Banaag, Christopher Cabillon Jr., Le’ Ono Emanuel Dumadag, Miguel Andres Neri, Zhan Paolo Moreno, Elijah Rafael Ferrer, Wilfred Elijah Villalba, Jesmhail Kiev Villena, Simmon Maghinay, Jesse James Tabanas, Glenn Vincent Mendez, Kirby Mac Perras, John Kenneth Estoso and Daniel Gonda.
Completing the cast of Corpus Christi Baby Knights are Fil Octavio Autor II, Sal Andre Mann, Charles Edward Olango, Reighan Ansley Salvaleon, Alan Xander Ureta, Arafat Sacar Capal, Ali Rob Tyler Go, Jerry Poe Manzano Jr., Kharl Steven Ortiz, Rylle Yukihiro Tan, Norris Babiera, Junmar Barredo, Michael Rey Laureta, Mackenzie Limbaga and Chris Edward Olango.