Thursday, May 5, 2016

Alyssa Valdez holds her skills camp at STI

The AV Camp in progress

 
Three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez is one of the best and gifted female volleyball players in the country. From her humble beginnings in San Juan, Batangas to her journey with the Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP she has shown that a simple girl from the provinces can make it big in the sport which has captivated the hearts of many Filipinos.

Alyssa training the next Valdez

 
Today she embarks on a new mission and that is to teach kids the basics and rudiments of volleyball. Alyssa’s love for volleyball is very evident as she spearheaded the Alyssa Valdez Skills Camp for the many volleyball enthusiasts from six (6) years old to eighteen (18) years old.   Open to everyone who has a knack for volleyball, the skills camp has three brackets namely 6 to 13 years old for beginners, 14 to 18 years old and an open session for those who simply want to learn volleyball.
 
Alyssa training the next Valdez
 

The camp opened today at the STI Academic Center in Calamba Laguna and will run through May 7, 2016. It will also feature Alyssa’s friends with Gretchel Soltones, Joyce Palad, EJ Laure, JV de Guzman, Amy Ahomiro, Jhoana Maraguinot, Bea de Leon and Ella de Jesus. The Alyssa Valdez Skills Camp will also be held at the STI Academic Center in Cubao from May 10 to 14 and at the STI Academic Center in Ortigas-Cainta on May 19 to 21.
 
Grethcel Soltones, Alyssa Valdez, STI College Calamba's Jei Isip, Yours truly, Joyce Palad
 
Alyssa’s love for volleyball is boundless that is why she opened the Alyssa Valdez skills camp this summer and this is her way of her paying back the sport she so dearly loves. Who knows that from these humble beginnings she can inspire the new generation of youngsters to become the next Alyssa Valdez. 
 
First batch of camp enrollees 6 to 13 years old with their parents

Saturday, April 16, 2016

STI West Negros University wins 2016 STI NBT National Title

STI West Negros University - 2016 STI National Basketball Tournament National Champions

In the 80’s there was a period of crisis that engulfed the city of Bacolod.  In the midst of the tragic events that happened, the local government of Bacolod decided to hold a festival of smiles because they believe that the festival was a declaration by the people of the city that no matter how tough and bad the times were, Bacolod is going to pull through, survive and in the end triumph.
The National Finals at the STI Academic Center Ortigas-Cainta

Mirroring the tough times of the city of Bacolod was the experience that the Mustangs of STI West Negros University went through last year in the 2015 STI National Basketball Tournament.   Their heartbreaking loss to STI College Santa Rosa was a tough pill to swallow and the road back to redemption was a long arduous one. But just like their co-Bacolodnons, the STI West Negros basketball team promised their school management that no matter how hard it was for them to get back lost glory, they will pull through, survive and hopefully become triumphant. That promise eventually came true as the STI West Negros University Mustangs beat the hard fighting STI College Malolos Falcons 83 - 74 to win the 2016 STI National Basketball Tournament National Championship.

Arche Salo on the drive

STI College Malolos just came from its best game in the 2016 STI NBT after it beat STI College Santa Rosa yesterday. The Falcons were poised to rewrite history and spoil STI West Negros University’s date with destiny as the Bulacan based dribblers played the same way and did not leave any stone unturned in their game. STI College Malolos came out with guns blazing as they seized control of the game in first quarter thanks to their tight defense on the main guns of West Negros John Mc Hale Nermal and Renz Solomon who both went 1 of 5. On the other side of the court the Malolos guards Arche Salo and Dario Gatchalian got their game going to give the Bulakenyos a 23 – 16 first quarter lead.



The Tower of Power Kelbert Victoria 

In the second quarter STI College Malolos showed that they are not pushovers as they battled the West Negros team on equal footing and then unleashed their vaunted offense. After JV Veloso scored on a three pointer with 6:50 left in the half to cut the Malolos lead to four 21 – 25, Dario Gatchalian, Dave Cruz and Kelbert Victoria combined to drop a 17 – 10 bomb to take an eleven point lead 42 – 31 with two minutes left. STI West Negros sued for time, regrouped and answered the Malolos run with a 10 – 2 run of their own capped by the three pointers of Roy Villarias and Kobe Vizcarra. The half ended with STI West Negros narrowing the gap 44 – 41 at the end of the two quarters, this is the only game in the National Finals that the Mustangs are not leading at the half.

Renz Solomon scores on the fastbreak

The third quarter saw STI West Negros University take control of the game as the diminutive point guard Renz Solomon came to life and to the rescue of the West Negros team. From a 48 – all standstill, the Mustangs suddenly came to life and seized the upper hand 66 – 53 and threatened to break the game open at the end of the third period until Ralph Bonifacio and Dave Cruz breathed life to the Falcons waning chances and the third quarter ended with the  West Negros team ahead 66 - 57.

The Sensational Mac Nermal skies high

In the fourth quarter, it was STI College Malolos’s time to come back and just like a bad nightmare, the Bulakenyos rose from the dead to come back to tie the score at 71 – all with 3 minutes and 28 seconds left.  Mark Lester Tamayo, Kelbert Victoria and Dave Cruz would simply not surrender as the trio breathed life into the Malolos offense. Just when STI College Malolos tied the game, John Mc Hale Nermal and Renz Solomon presided over a 12 – 3 closing run capped by five free throws in the last 38 seconds to put the game away as the STI West Negros squad stood by their promise that the National Title will rest at Negros Occidental.
Ralph Bonifacio scores on this undergoal stab


Renz Solomon, Kobe Bryan Vizcarra and John McHale Nermal of STI West Negros University together with Mark Lester Tamayo and Kelbert Victoria were all chosen to the Mythical 5. This year the Most Valuable Player of the tournament is John McHale Nermal as he topped the statistical race for the MVP.   

The 2016 STI NBT Mythical 5: (L-R) 
Kelbert Victoria, Lester Tamayo,
Renz Solomon, Kobe Vizcarra, John Nermal

A lot of people say that adversity brings out the best or worst in you. Only eleven members of the West Negros team went to the National finals since one of the players was disallowed by school management to join them because of disciplinary reasons. In sporting events like this you need every help you can get but for the STI WNU management it was a tough decision to make considering that the player they did not allow to join plays the center position. But as they say in the midst of adversity they stood by their values and never blinked an eye to do what is right and not what is more comfortable. This is the story of the STI West Negros University Mustangs, the 2016 STI National basketball Tournament National Champions.
 
STI ESG Vice-President for Corporate and Information Services, Mr. John Tubongbanua awards the MVP trophy to John Mc Hale Nermal of STI West Negros University


The scores:
STI WEST NEGROS UNIVERSITY (83)
Nermal 17, Solomon 17, Galvez 13, Veloso 10, Villarias 7, Vizcarra 6, Sajo 5, Belocura 4, Pastias 1,

STI COLLEGE MALOLOS (74)
Tamayo 14, Cruz D. 11, Gatchalian 11, Bonifacio 10, Victoria 10, Salo 10, Pujante 8, Encarnacion 0, Bautista 0,  Santos 0,
Quarter scores:
16 – 23, 41 – 44, 66 – 57, 83 - 74

Friday, April 15, 2016

STI College Santa Rosa settles for 3rd place

June Aliparo scores a three

STI College Santa Rosa came back in its final game with a win against the hard fighting Mindanao champion STI College Koronadal 60 – 57.   June Aliparo came back from his subpar performance in the cross-over semifinals to lead the Laguna dribblers by scoring 27 points after being held to 18 the other day. After their horrible loss the other day, the STI College Santa Rosa team redeemed themselves by winning third place.

Norman Puerto led the Koronadal attack


In the first half, both teams fought on equal footing with neither team leading by more than six points. Both teams were tied at the first quarter with June Aliparo leading the Santa Rosa team and Norman Puerto leading the Koronadal scoring in the first quarter. In the 2nd quarter June Aliparo waxed hot as he scored eleven of the fifteen points of the Santa Rosa quintet. Norman Puerto would pace Koronadal as they trailed their opponents 31 – 27 at the end of the half.

Addis Lizen drives to the hoop


STI College Santa Rosa used their team game in the third quarter with almost everyone chipping in. With eight minutes left, the foursome of June Aliparo, Addis Lizen, Bryan Ursua and Raul Guerrero dropped a 10 – 4 bomb that transformed their precarious 33 – 29 lead to a bigger 43 – 33 lead with three minutes left in the quarter. STI College Koronadal sued for time, regrouped and answered with a 9 – 0 blast of their own to stay within striking distance as the quarter ended with Santa Rosa still on top 43 – 42.

Bryanth Ursua scores on the fastbreak

With both teams playing superb defense, STI College Santa Rosa eventually found the crease in the Koronadal defense in the waning minutes of the game. With the score tied at 51 – all with 4:11 left in the game, Aliparo, Ursua, Lizen and Guerrero would once again weave their magic and score on an 9 – 0 run to give the Laguna dribblers a nine point lead  with 51 seconds left. STI College Koronadal’s last ditch effort to salvage the game fell short and STI College Santa Rosa hung tough to score that  60 – 57 win. 

Bernard Caguisano Jr. scores on this jumper



June Aliparo made up from his so-so performance the other day by scoring a game high 27 points on 7 of 12 (58.33%) shooting. Norman Puerto and Cris Valencia led the Koronadal team with 18 and 12 points respectively.  STI College Koronadal placed 4th also last year. Once again the top four teams in the STI National Basketball Tournament was well represented by the three regions of the country.


Kim Ibbara drives to the basket


The scores:
STI COLLEGE SANTA ROSA (60)
Aliparo 27, Romualdo 8, Guerrero 6, Ursua 6, Fabic 4, Lizen 4, Hercia Jes. 3, Ibbara 2, Adato 0, Hercia Jer. 0, Romero 0,

STI COLLEGE KORONADAL (57)
Puerto 18, Valencia 12, Caguisano B. 7, Morte 5, Famulag 4, Libdan 4, Sulit 4, Soliva 2, Ignacio 1, Caguisano J. 0, Castillo 0, Lopez 0

Quarter scores:

16 – 14, 31 – 27, 44 – 43, 60 - 57


STI WNU beats STI College Koronadal enters finals


John Nermal drives to the basket

The STI West Negros University team made sure that another reversal in the cross-over semifinals will not happen as the Visayas Champions beat the Minadanao champions 74 – 53 to advance to the championship game of the 2016 STI National Basketball Tournament. Last year both teams battled for third place, this year one is marching on to the National Finals and a chance to redeem themselves from last year’s unfortunate meltdown.

Norman Puerto hangs in mid-air

STI College Koronadal started the game with an upset on their minds as Norman Puerto scored eight points to start the quarter to give the South Cotabato team a 16 – 6 lead in the first six minutes of play. This is the first time that a team has gotten a 10 point lead against the West Negros team and the Koronadal squad was smelling a big monumental upset is about to happen.

Dan Ignacio lays it in

Unfortunately for the Mindanao champs, MVP frontrunner John Mc Hale Nermal had other plans in his mind as he single handedly bringing back the Negrenses back to the game by scoring 11 points in the first quarter. The first 10 minutes ended with STI College Koronadal on top 18 – 15.  This was the first time STI WNU trailed during the first quarter.

Renz Solomon drives to the hoop

Come the second quarter, Nermal went full blast as his offense picked-up and the West Negros offensive machine suddenly came to life. Nermal      scored 14 second quarter points which was capped by two three pointers and fastbreak points to give the the West Negros team the upperhand.  With the score slowly piling up with the pace of a snail, Nermal went to work once again by scoring on two three pointers and a drive to the hoop.   From a 24 – 22 lead, Nermal scored 8 eight points while point guard Renz Solomon sank another three to ignite an 11 – 0 run to give the STI West Negros team a 35 – 23 halftime lead.

Nermal scores again


The third and fourth quarter there were no different stories as STI West Negros stepped on their pedal to put their offense into maximum overdrive and putting their defense into full gear which made STI College Koronadal score only 7 points in the third quarter. STI WNU coasted along the fourth quarter as the team from Bacolod finally barged in to the National Finals where they will meet the team they beat yesterday – STI College Malolos.


 Another fastbreak for Puerto

 The scores:


STI WEST NEGROS UNIVERSITY (74)
Nermal  29, Solomon 13, Vizcarra 8, Sajo 6,  Adjie 4, Galvez 4,  Veloso 4, Villarias 4, Belocura 2, Cadase 0, Pastias 0

STI COLLEGE KORONADAL (53)
Caguisano Jr.18, Puerto 15, Sulit 6, Castillo 4, Famulag 4, Valencia 4, Ignacio 2, Caugisano J. 0, Morte 0, Libdan 0, Soliva 0,

Quarter scores:
15 – 18, 35 – 22, 54 – 27, 74 - 53

Thursday, April 14, 2016

STI College Malolos flexes muscles, beat STI College Santa Rosa 75 - 55

John Kelbert Victoria was a tower of power for the Malolos team

Just when everything was pointing to a return trip to the STI National basketball Tournament finals by the STI College Santa Rosa team, STI College Malolos spoils the fun.  In the four years that these two teams met, STI College Santa Rosa always had the upper hand and always won big because of their experience, tenacity and team play. 
Bryan Ursua is met by two big men 

Unfortunately for them, the “boys” they were whipping then has turned into a well-oiled machine and during the 2016 STI National Basketball Tournament cross-over semifinals, STI College Malolos finally slayed the ghost of past losses by winning over the Group A leader 75 – 55 and barge into the National Finals against STI West Negros University.


June Aliparo being open was a rarity in the game


Both teams started the first quarter focused and tight and the first five minutes had both teams still tied at 6 – all.  After another 5 minutes both teams would battle each other for points and defense and the score was still tied at 13 – all and the hype of a down the wire game was in the works. Raul Guerrero led the scoring for the Santa Rosa team while Dave Cruz was the sparkplug for the Malolos team in the same quarter.

Arche Salo rises up to the occasion

As early as the second quarter, the turning point of the game came when STI College Malolos went on a tear that broke the backs of the Laguna dribblers.  With the score tied at 17 – all, STI College Malolos uncorked a 9 – 0 run that broke the game wide open as Ralph Bonifacio and Dave Cruz  combined to give the Bulakenyos a 26 – 17 lead. In that run, STI College Santa Rosa missed eight consecutive shots and the defense on June Aliparo was so tight that Aliparo had to bleed for is points.  Aliparo would eventually break the Santa Rosa drought by scoring five straight points but much to their dismay STI College Malolos was scoring on all angles as Kelbert Victoria, Aram Pujante and Archie Salo combined for a paralyzing 11 – 3 run courtesy of three three pointers with Salo hitting two and Pujante canning one to give the Malolos team a commanding 37 - 22 lead at the half.

Ralph Bonifacio scores on a jumper

STI College Santa Rosa tried to regroup but unfortunately they could not overcome the insurmountable lead by the Bulakenyos as STI College Malolos matched every point that the Laguna cagers would score.  On top of that, STI College Malolos looked like the veteran team that used their unselfishness to confuse the Santa Rosa defense as the Malolos ball rotation always found the open man who eventually scored. 

Mark Tamayo scores on a lay-in

The end came when 6’5 Malolos center scored inside the paint to put the game beyond recall as he gave the Bulakenyos a 20 point lead 69 – 49 with 3 minutes and 18 seconds left in the game.  STI College Malolos will now march on to the Championship game of the 2016 STI National Basketball Tournament National Finals and try to come out with another A game to avenge their loss to the STI West Negros team.  
Battle of the Bigmen

The scores:

STI COLLEGE MALOLOS (75)
Victoria 17, Cruz D. 10, Salo 10, Tamayo 9, Gatchalian 8, Bonifacio 8, Pujante 6, Cruz L. 4,   Bautista 3, Santos 0,  Encarnacion 0

STI COLLEGE SANTA ROSA (55)
Aliparo 18, Guerrero 14, Ursua 6, Fabic 4, Hercia Jer. 4, Romualdo 4, Lizen 3, Ibbara 2, Hercia Jer. 0, Hercia Jes. 0, Romero 0, 

13 – all, 37 – 22, 54 – 38, 75 - 55

STI WNU beat STI College Malolos top Group B

Rommel Galvez scores on a lay-up

In the battle of the two unbeaten Group B teams, one team was determined to stay focused on their mission while the other team wants to reach their goal for the season. Like any basketball game, the result will always be inevitable that one’s journey will get derailed while the other will stay in the hunt. That was the  what happened in the game wherein the Mustangs of STI West Negros University beat the Falcons of STI College Malolos  94 – 78 to become the only unbeaten team in Group B of the 2016 STI National Basketball Tournament National finals.  STI West Negros University will face the second seeded team in Group A in the cross-over semifinals, STI College Koronadal, for a passage to the National Finals Championship game.

Kelbert Victoria powers his way to the basket

STI West Negros University started like a house on fire as their crafty point guard Renz Solomon presided over an opening 7 – 0 run by scoring on a drive and a three pointer to break the Malolos team’s defense.  Coach Chit Jimenez immediately sued for time for his team to regroup and respond to STI WNU’s remarkable first two minutes. STI College Malolos would then battle back as the trio of Dario Gatchalian, Arche Salo and Glenn Bautista helped stem the tide for the Malolos team to catch up at the end of the first quarter which saw STI WNU still on top 16 – 14.

Kobe Vizcarra cans this jumper

In the second quarter the Negrenses took charge as they dropped a 12 – 0 bomb in the mid-quarter to take a 17 points lead 36 – 19.  Shots were not falling for the Falcons as the suffocating defense by the Mustangs held them to 5 of 17 shooting (29%) which was unlikely for the Malolos team. In contrast, the Visayans shot 76% from the field (12 of 17) had 9 rebounds and shared the ball well with 8 assists in the quarter. The Malolos team did not know what hit them as the John Mc Hale Nermal torched them for 10 points while Sean Sajo and JV Veloso added 6 and 5 points respectively as the Visayans scored 27 second quarter points to lead at the half 43 – 31.

Mark Lester Tamayo is fouled to the basket

The second half saw no major scare for the West Negros team as they pounded the Bulakenyos to submission and weathered the storm everytime they would come back.  The West Negros offense went to overdrive as they scored 51 second half points while the team from Malolos lost steam and had a hard time catching up with the Visayas champions.  Nermal and Solomon topscored for the STI West Negros University team with 20 points apiece but it was their depth that made the difference. STI West Negros will now face STI College Koronadal while STI College Malolos will try to beat STI College Santa Rosa in the cross-over semifinals for a chance for the two to meet again in the 2016 STI National Basketball Tournament finals.
John Mc Hale Nermal glides to the basket

The scores

STI WEST NEGROS UNIVERSITY (94)
Nermal 20, Solomon 20, Veloso 12, Vizcarra 11,  Sajo 8, Villarias 8, Cadase 5, Galvez 4, Belocura 4, Adjie 2,
STI COLLEGE MALOLOS (78)
Bautista 15, Pujante 12, Victoria 11, Salo 10, Tamayo 10, Gatchalian 8, Cruz D. 4, Bonifacio 4, Santos 4, Encarnacion 0, Cruz L. 0,

Quarter scores: 16 – 14, 43 – 31, 71 – 56, 94 – 78

STI College Ortigas-Cainta post first win

Kenneth Afuang topscored for the Cainta team

In their two years competing at the National Level of the STI National Basketball Tournament, a win was so elusive for the STI College Ortigas-Cainta basketball team. In their game against STI College Caloocan, the Rizal based dribblers made sure that they will not end this year’s tournament without a single win as they beat National Finals newcomer STI College Caloocan 66 – 54. Although both teams were already eliminated, both teams were fighting for bragging rights and pride for their respective schools.

Ron Sanvictores skies high for the lay-up


STI College Ortigas- Cainta started out flat as STI College Caloocan took advantage of the lack of energy of the Cainta based dribblers as Ariel Bautista presided over a 14 – 5 opening run that prompted Coach Michael Rafael to call for a timeout. STI College Ortigas – Cainta immediately woke up from their slumber and answered with a 9 – 2 run with Jeff Estabillo scoring off his final heave to make it 16 – 14 for STI College Caloocan at the end of the first quarter.

Ariel Bautista on this jumper


In the second quarter, the Ortigas – Cainta team forced the Caloocan dribblers to seven turnovers which they took advantage of by scoring nine points off those turnovers. The Ortigas – Cainta bench also went to work as they outscored the Caloocan bench 13 – 3. STI College Ortigas-Cainta tried to break the game wide open when they erected a nine point lead 29 – 20 with four minutes remaining off a Van Dam Locsin three pointer. But the resilient STI College Caloocan team battled back as Erland Sarmiento completed a three – point play while Jomar Salazar sank a three pointer and scored on a fastbreak to bring down the lead to one point 28 – 29 and the quarter ended with Ortigas – Cainta up by a solitary basket 32 – 31.


Paolo Alcantara scores on this putback

In the third quarter, STI College Ortigas-Cainta started to pull away. The defense employed by the STI College Ortigas-Cainta team was so suffocating that they made the Caloocan team bleed for points. STI College Caloocan was held to 16% shooting as they made only 3 field goals in 19 attempts.  On the other hand the STI College ORtgias-Cainta offense clicked as Jeff Estabillo, Vincent Vigil and Kenneth Afuang ran rings around their defenders. As the third quarter ended STI College Ortigas-Cainta was leading by nine 50 – 41.


Jeff Estabillo scores in traffic


In the fourth quarter, STI College Ortigas-Cainta coasted along and protected their lead as Kenneth Afuang and Richard Palanca answered every Caloocan run sparked by their skipper Mark Abin.  The most telling stats of the game showed that STI College Ortigas-Cainta had a better shooting clip 52% (27/52) to 29% (20/69), and had 10 blocks to Caloocan’s zero.  STI College Caloocan outrebounded  ORCA 43 – 34, had lesser turnovers (14 – 15) and had more steals (6-5), sometimes the stats really don’t determine the game outcome.

Jomar Salazar scores on this fastbreak

The scores:
STI COLLEGE ORTIGAS-CAINTA (66)
Afuang 14, Estabillo 10, Vigil 10, Sanvictores 8, Paredes 7, Ramos 4, Palanca 4, Alcantara 4, Locsin 3, Picones 2, Pilapil 0

STI COLLEGE CALOOCAN (54)
Bautista 11, Salazar 10, Sarmiento 9, Schmidt 8, Abin 5, Maala 5, Lazaro 4, Flores 2, Aquino 0,

Quarter scores:

14 – 16, 32 – 31,  50 - 41, 66 - 54

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

STI College Santa Rosa dethrone defending champs

June Aliparo scores a three

Revenge is a dish best served cold.  This famous quote was on the back of the minds of last year’s STI National Basketball Tournament runner-up STI College Santa Rosa as they finally slayed the ghost of last year’s finals melt down as they ousted the only team that beat them – STI College Global City and they beat them bigtime 83 - 52.  The win put the Laguna based dribblers on top of Group A and will face the second seeded team in Group B – STI College Malolos in the cross-over semifinals.

Carl Manzano shoots a fadeaway jumper

STI College Global City opened the game by scoring seven straight points with first five points coming from point guard Raymond Veluz who scored on a driver and a three-pointer. STI College Santa Rosa eventually caught fire as June Aliparo scored on two three-pointers as the team from Laguna countered with a 10 – 0 run to take the lead 10 – 7. The quarter ended with STI College Santa Rosa on top by a solitary point 14 – 13. 

Jansenn Pangilinan drives to the basket

In the second quarter, STI College Santa Rosa clamped down on Jeanssen Pangilinan and made it hard for the Global City squad to score in the paint while checking the defending champ’s shooters.  After doing their part on defense the Santa Rosa offense was at full throttle which the STI College Global City team had a hard time stopping. Raul Guerrero led the way for the Laguna dribblers as he scattered eight of their team’s 21 points to give them the much distance going to the second half.

Kent Fabic jumps high for this jumper

Going into the fourth quarter, STI College Global City was facing another double digit deficit for the third straight day. Unlike in the previous two games wherein their team came to life and forged a win and a tie, in this game STI College Santa Rosa made sure that there will be no comebacks for the defending champion.  The whole Santa Rosa team put their defense into overdrive by making the defending champs miss 15 shots, make them shoot a poor 12% from the field (2 of 17) and translate that good defense into good offense by scoring six fastbreak points and six points off turnovers – this signaled the end of the rein of the Taguig based defending champions.

John Adato scores off an undergoal stab


The scores:
STI COLLEGE SANTA ROSA (83)
Aliparo 17, Ursua 12, Adato 10, Guerrero 10, Lizen 8, Hercia Jer. 7, Fabic 6, Romualdo 6, Hercia Jes. 5, Romero 2, Ibbara 0

STI COLLEGE GLOBAL CITY (52)
Pangilinan 20, Veluz 15, Sabordo 7, Pagulayan 5, Manzano 3, Baldoza 2, Lumelay 0,

Quarter scores:

14 – 13, 35 – 23,     64 - 43, 80 - 52

STI College Koronadal secures second Group A slot


The Battle for the rebound

STI College Koronadal secured the second slot in Group A of the 2016 STI National Basketball Tournament National Finals week by beating STI College Las Pinas 60  - 46 and put itself in contention to win the National crown. STI College Koronadal is the back-to-back Mindanao champions and is poised to improve their fourth place finish from last year.  Veteran Forwards Bernard Caguisano and Norman Puerto scored 15 points apiece to lead the balance attack of the Mindanao champs who will face STI West Negros University in the cross-over semifinals.

Christopher Jutie on the fastbreak


STI College Las Pinas started the game with so much energy while STI College Koronadal started the game somewhat flat as the Las Pinas dribblers took an early 10 – 3 lead thanks to the fastbreak plays of Cris Jutie and jumpers of Paolo Negrido. STI College Koronadal eventually sued for time, battled back with Caguisano and Puerto and the first quarter ended with the Mindanao champs only a basket behind as first 10 minutes ended with STI College Las Pinas on top 14 – 13.
Dan Ignacio scores

 The second quarter was a defensive quarter as STI College Las Pinas forced the South Cotabato cagers to 12 turnovers which netted them six points. Cris Jutie was the only one to light up the board as his eight points was the total score of STI College Las Pinas in the second quarter. STI College Koronadal on the other hand forced the other players to miss as Jutie’s teammates were a combined 0 for 12. STI College Koronadal controlled the boards 13 – 9 and stayed in striking distance as the quarter ended with STI College Las Pinas on top with a solitary point 22 – 21.

Cris Valencia floats in mid-air

In the third quarter, Cris Jutie scored back to back baskets to give STI College las Pinas a five point lead 26 – 21. After that, Kenneth Libdan answered with a jumper while Dalton Balidoy scored on a free throw to give the Las Pinas cagers a 27 – 23 lead with five and a half minutes to go. It was at this point that STI College Koronadal made a run that gave them the lead and the momentum of the game. Bernard Caguisano Jr. combined with Cris Valencia, Kenneth Libdan and Paolo Soliva to drop a 12 – 2 bomb that gave the Koronadal team the lead for good 35 – 29 at the end of the third quarter.

Dalton Balidoy drives to the hoop

In the fourth quarter, STI College Las Pinas tried its last ditch stand to salvage a win as Dalton Balidoy’s offense awakened as the wily forward scored seven fourth quarter points but unfortunately his efforts went for naught as STI College Koronadal’s defense became harder to puncture while their offense went to overdrive. Norman Puerto and Dan Ignacio punctured the hoops to crush the last stand of the Las Pinas cagers and earn the Mindanao champions their second final four appearance.  STI College Koronadal will face last year’s 2nd runner-up STI West Negros University for a ticket to the 2016 STI NBT Finals.

Koronadal defenders shackle Mark Ruallo

The scores:
STI COLLEGE KORONADAL (60)
Caguisano Jr.15, Puerto 15, Libdan 12, Ignacio 7, Valencia 7, Soliva 4, Caugisano J. 0, Castillo 0, Famulag 0, Morte 0, Sulit 0

STI COLLEGE LAS PINAS (46)
Jutie 18, Balidoy 8, Negrido 8, Faelden 4, Nonoyama 3, Ruallo 3, Ocampo 2, Gutay 0, dela Cruz 0, Pascual 0, Rico 0, Vanderlipe 0

Quarter scores:
14 – 13, 22 – 21,    35 - 29, 60 - 46