First-ever Skills Challenge champ Menina won it for his family

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Aug 12, 2016 04:36 PM
First-ever Skills Challenge champ Menina won it for family
INSPIRED PLAY. With his family in attendance, Darrel Menina took home the inaugural Skills Challenge title.

A typographical error made it look like it came out of nowhere, but it was always clear to Darrel Menina that he was eyeing the Skills Challenge championship in the NCAA 92 Men’s Basketball All-Star.

Leaving no doubt that he belonged, the Mapua Institute of Technology guard tallied the fastest qualifying time before topping Kraniel Villoria in the Finals to take home the inaugural Skills Challenge title on Friday at the San Juan Arena.

Menina got out ahead of his foe from Arellano University right from the start and only needed two triple tries to cement his historic win. Beforehand, his mark of 24.6 seconds was fastest among all 10 participants in the qualifying round.

If it seemed like he was playing inspired, the Cebuano said it was because he really was. “Binigay ko talaga best ko para sa family ko kasi nanonood sila sa labas,” he expressed.

Menina’s parents, sister, and significant other all flew in from Cebu to watch him participate in his first All-Star event.

Good thing the typographical error that listed another teammate in the Skills Challenge got cleared up. Almel Orquina was on the official list, but Menina said he was always the Cardinals’ representative in the competition.

The first-ever Skills Challenge champion bested Franz Pasamente (CSB), Raymund Pascua (EAC), MJ Dela Virgen (JRU), Matthew Bernabe (Letran), Ian Alban (LPU), Almel Orquina (Mapua), Flash Sadiwa (Perpetual), Radge Tongco (San Beda), and Ryan Costelo (San Sebastian).

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