ILOCOS SUR, Philippines- In a tight race for a possible spot in the quarterfinals, Cagayan Valley edged out Ilocos Region, 66-63, in basketball elementary boys of the Palarong Pambansa 2018 here on Wednesday, April 18.
Region 02’s Ronald Andrei Ventura secured his team a much needed two-point shot to secure the win in the final moments of the game, despite two free throw attempts from their adversary, the host region.
As of this writing, Cagayan Valley is the second best team with three wins and a loss, just behind the National Capital Region.
Ilocos owned the first half, struggling to beat Cagayan Valley with only a point lead 16-15 in the first quarter and 33-30 in the second quarter. Matthew Narvassa’s two-pointer with an assist from Cleaven Dale Bal further widened their lead from Region 02.
Despite Ventura’s three-point shot, Region 02 failed to beat the lead of Region 01 who earlier had Ralph Ryan Fabricante land a three-pointer of his own.
Meanwhile, Cagayan Valley started rough with several travelling calls in the first quarter.
Yet, the team slowly took the momentum in the third quarter through the efforts of Laurence Christian Batongbakal, John Lester Castillo, and Ventura. With Castillo’s three point shot, Cagayan Valley finally got a seven-point lead in the early going of the third quarter.
Ilocos tried to even the equation in the final quarter, catching up at 59-53 with Region 02. Yet, Jonas Tabamo with an assist from Francis Daliri gained Cagayan Valley two more points ahead, 61-56.
With a four-point lead and less than 30 seconds away from the finish, Cagayan Valley showed tight defense as team Coach Giovani Caliva looked on to his team. Ilocos eventually bowed down to Cagayan Valley despite two free-throw attempts near end.
Coach Caliva said he challenged his player to stay focused
“Pilitin po naming makapasok sa semifinals. Pipilitin namin [gaya nung] ano ang pinakita ng mga bata…Yung play nila ngayon medyo poor pero nakalaro naman sila ng husto,” Caliva said.
The coach said key player John Martinez who sustained an injury in their previous game was their team’s inspiration for the successful game.
Quarterfinal games for basketball begin tomorrow, Thursday, April 19. Northernforum.net