CDO fends off hard-charging Cavite for NBTC Division 2 title

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 16, 2017 05:05 PM
CDO fends off hard-charging Cavite for NBTC Division 2 title
HARD TO GET. Assumption CDO and Milo Janao worked hard to seize the championship and the MVP.

Of course, the championship wasn’t coming easy for Assumption Montessori School of Cagayan de Oro.

Showing unending determination, however, the Jaguars proved themselves worthy to be the newly-crowned kings in Division 2 of the 2017 National Basketball Training Center League National Finals.

Giving up a lead of as much as 11 in the last six minutes before standing strong when it mattered most, Assumption weathered the endgame storm brought about by Cavite’s St. Jude College for a well-earned 72-71 win on Thursday at the MOA Arena.

“Ang sarap. Ang sarap talaga ng championship,” a beaming coach James Racines expressed in the post-game conference as his wards will take home to Mindanao only the second-ever Division 2 crown.

The Jaguars were in control for majority of the matchup and were still up by double-digits in the final frame until the Thaddeus Knights put forward a rumbling rally that, all of a sudden, closed them to 69-70 with 50.1 ticks to go.

After another defensive stop, Cavite had a golden opportunity to take the lead only to see Milo Hanao take the ball away from them.

In the ensuing possession, Romel Calahat broke away and buried a big-time basket that put CDO up, 72-69. “Sinasabi ko lang sa kanila kanina, sa amin na ‘to e. Wag na dapat mag-give up,” Racines said.

Still, Cavite wasn’t going down as two free throws from Rey De Quiros pulled them to within 71-72 with 17.1 seconds left.

Assumption again turned the ball over, but sealed the deal at long last by clamping down on defense and allowing no make from Paul Limpangog and Sarby Barquin.

Sweeping the tournament all the way to the championship, Assumption’s one-year wait and work were worth it. “Isang taon naming pinagtrabahuan to. Last year kasi, tinatambakan kami rito so talagang nag-focus kami since then,” Racines shared.

Calahat ended his last game as a Jaguar with a 20-point, 15-rebound double-double while Janao added 19 markers of his own.

For St. Jude, it was Victor Buraga who topped the scoring column with 17 points. Unable to make good on their chances in the endgame, however, they settle for a runner-up finish.

Meanwhile, Janao also claimed the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award.

Flanking him in the Mythical Team are Limpanog and Kriss Kelly Gurtiza, both of St. Jude; Raphael Dimayuga of De La Salle Lipa; and Kalen Axel Doromal of Ateneo de Davao University.

BOX SCORES

ASSUMPTION CDO 72 – Calahat 20, Mutya 19, Janao 19, Bedolido 7, Lim 4, Hosain 2, Pagara 1, Palabrica 0, Gelogo 0

ST. JUDE CAVITE 71 – Buraga 17, De Quiros 16, Gurtiza 9, Aviles 9, Laurencio 8, Gabat 2, Barquin 2, Wahing 2, Limpangog 2, Mangulabnan 2, Palencia 2, Pedroia 0

QUARTER SCORES: 16-8, 36-33, 51-43, 72-71

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