Minero snatch F-Cup bracket D crown

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

MARK Lester Viray and Nelson Turtoga charged Team Minero with a combined 45 points to end their magical ride with a championship against the highly regarded ISAAC 2 in bracket D of the Friendship Cup season 29.

The third seeded Minero, battled a two game deficit against second seeded Dagsian United in the semis before burying the bracket favorite ISAAC 2 with a 98-91 victory in their winner take all championship match at the Easter College gym Sunday evening.

After engaging ISAAC in a see-saw battle until the third period, Minero stepped on the gas in the pay-of canto for the team’s 6th championship crown in the Friendship Cup.


“Mahalaga ang naging role ng bawat isa sa team during this championship, lahat sila talagang nagtiyaga para masungkit ang panalo,” said Minero coach Zards Gacad.

Gacad commended each of his players in building effort and put offensive stops against the ISAAC squad.

“Pinaka-importanteng ginawa nila yung tight defense lalo na sa last quarter, with that hindi nila nagawang maka-angat sa scoring,” Gacad quipped.

ISAAC 2 took an early 7-2 run at the start of the first quarter with Michael Hermosado and Von Carlo Padilla stealing the limelight for the team.

But it was shortlived as Minero’s Turtoga and Kier Gonzaga answered the call converting 13 points in the closing minutes of the opening quarter to surge ahead, 18-16.

Minero took charge early in the second quarter leading by nine points 35-26 at the 4:09 marker, but ISAAC 2 proved to be a hard nut to crack with a 16 – 5 run capped by Hermosado’s back-to-back three-pointers to close the first half 40 all.

Gerald Abella and Padilla then powered ISAAC in the third canto to have a taste of the lead 55-56 with 3:22 remaining.

But the determined miner’s crew rallied back and put them ahead by five points, 68-63, at the end of the quarter.

With momentum on their side, the miners extended their lead at 86-75 by outscoring ISAAC 2 in the first eight minutes of the fourth period capped by back-to-back baskets from Turtoga and Mark Kevin Culala.

But ISAAC 2 easily erased that 11 point deficit as Padilla, Dave Sumadchat and John Batulan came up with a 16 – 8 run to narrow the lead at 94-91 with 32 seconds remaining.

But it was a little too late for ISAAC 2 as Turtoga converted another four fastbreak points that put Minero’s victory in the bag.

Viray was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the game earning 20 points, six rebounds, two steals and one assist.

“Sobrang sarap ng feeling kasi we never won against ISAAC sa eliminations round, and gumapang kami sa semis para talunin ang twice-to-beat na Dagsian United,” Viray said after the game.

“Pasalamat talaga ako sa efforts ng buong team at ng mga coaches namin, keeping us up throughout the season,” Viray closed.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 16.


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