Sunday, March 24, 2019

Cebu province’s Cinderella story in boys’ basketball

THERE’S no stopping the Cebuano athletes from dominating the ball games at the penultimate day of the 2018 Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (Cviraa) in Bohol yesterday.

Of all the ball games, it was the gem in rough athletes from Cebu Province that made a huge impact after they won the elementary boys’ basketball for the first time in years.

Cebu Province inked a convincing 61-53 win over host Bohol Province to win the gold medal, avenging their loss at the Bohol Institute Technology-International College (BIT-IC) court.

Before facing Bohol Province, the cagers from Cebu Province had to thread the needle against the powerhouse Cebu City Niños, 65-62, in the semis the other day.

“It’s our first time to win in gold medal for years, last year we only finished at third place. It’s unexpected. The players just played hard and with heart,” Cebu Province basketball coach Jomarvin Neri said in Cebuano.

Cebu Province finished the elimination second on their bracket and played the number one in the other bracket, which was Cebu City in the semis round.

Neri said that though Bohol Province had the home court edge and the home crowd in the finals, it was the game against Cebu City that was the toughest for them.

“When we entered the semis as the number two team and was to face Cebu City, I thought that we’re going to lose the game. We were already ready to accept defeat that time,” he said.

Cebu Province, composed of players from Argao, Balamban, Dalaguete, Aloguinsan, Barili and Cordova, completed the Cindrella run after winning against Bohol Province, who beat them in the elimination round.

Neri said that despite being undersized, they were able to develop good team chemistry after a month-long unified training handled by the Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu Province division with the support of Cebu Provincial Commission.

The Catmon Integrated, School which represents Cebu Province, meanwhile, asserted its dominance in the sporting meet bagging its 13th title in Cviraa.

The five-time Palarong Pambansa champion beat Cebu City, 25-12, 25-17 in the championship match at the K of C Poblacion 2 volleyball court.

“Our key to winning is our year-round training,” said coach Vilma Veloso, whose former players are now playing in the major leagues like UAAP, NCAA and Cesafi.

The likes of Gretchel Soltones, Isabel Molde and Justine Durog once suited up for the Catmon Integrated School.

Veloso said that one of her players, Frances Mae Flores, got an offer from schools like Tay Tung College, California Academy and Sacred Heart School Ateneo de Cebu for high school.

“It’s really up to them and their parents, where they want to play. As a coach I’m just here to guide them,” she said.
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