DEFENDING champion Holy Child College of Davao (HCCD) Red Eagles lived up to their billing by taming the Rizal Memorial Colleges (RRMC), 109-84, in their championship match to retain the National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) League Davao leg title at the University of Mindanao (UM) Matina Gym Tuesday, February 18.
Aljay Alloso, who was sidelined last year due to an injury, came back strong with a 42-point performance, a feat that earned him the most valuable player (MVP) award.
His teammate Marvin Samonte chipped in 22 points in the game that saw both teams in a hill-to-hill battle in the first period.
Red Eagles head coach Nestor Sorrosa, in a phone interview with SunStar Davao Wednesday, February 19, said, "See-saw battle sa first quarter, adjustment period pa kay napildi mi dati sa RMC sa elimination, siguro kumpyansa kaayo sila (It was a see-saw battle in the first quarter. We were adjusting during the first period since we lost to RMC during an elimination game before)."
The veteran coach said they grabbed a solid 90-74 advantage going into the fourth canto.
"Pagdako sa among biya, sipti nami. Sigurado nami sa dula (We were confident when we were ahead by a huge margin)," he said, praising the players' efforts and thankful that they were all healthy during the game.
He continued, "Gusto jud nila mudaog. Motivated sila mudaog (They really want to win. They were motivated to win)."
The Davao City champion will advance to the Davao regional finals slated Sunday at UM Matina. The Red Eagles will be pitted against Tagum City, Digos City and Mati City champions.
Sorrosa, however, downplayed their chances in the regional finals since Tagum City defeated them last year. The latter went on to represent the region in the nationals.
"Last year, daghan injured og nagsakit nga players namo. Unta tuloy-tuloy na ang maayo nilang condition. Paningkamutan namo makabawi this year (We were hit by injuries last year. We are hoping that the players' good health condition will continue so we can redeem ourselves this year)," he added.