8-man team of NCR gets gold in basketball

8-man team of NCR gets gold in basketball
UNDERMANNED, NOT UNDESERVING. NCR only had eight players suited up for all of the secondary boys basketball tournament, yet still had more than enough for the gold medal.

SAN JOSE, ANTIQUE – It was eight versus all of the full-house EBJ Gymnasium on Saturday.

Yet in the end, the National Capital Region proved to still have more than enough to regain gold in secondary boys basketball in the 2017 Palarong Pambansa.

Encho Serrano and Gerry Abadiano found no peer in the other backcourt and the rest of the boys from Metro Manila stamped their class on upstart Western Visayas for a 75-48 blowout.

Even with only eight players in uniform, coach Goldwyn Monteverde’s team regained the gold their region last had in 2015. “Ang pinakaunang challenge talaga namin, ‘di kami kumpleto. So very proud pa rin ako na nasa mindset pa rin na manalo talaga,” he said afterward.

Monteverde had three players on his roster who were injured and did not make the trip. And so, he ran with the eight players he had.

After a slow start in the tournament, NCR got into its groove in the playoffs, routing its opponents through three games by an average of 36 points.

The finishing touch in their run of domination being a silencer of the hometown crowd who were out in full-force for the championship game.

Metro Manila was in command from the get-go and its 24-12 start granted it the double-digit it would never relinquish.

Explosive Serrano and heady Abadiano were at the forefront if it all, but were also ably backstopped by shooter Miguel Oczon.

Ilonggo Ryan Calama-an, one of the standouts in the tournament, was unable to make any sort of impact as his team’s helter-skelter play was no match for NCR’s discipline.

Nonetheless, a silver medal for a squad not even expected to make the semifinals is a big win for Region VI.

In the battle for bronze, Central Visayas clamped down on CALABARZON for a hard-earned 77-71 win.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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