Yours truly with the ceremonial toss
The first day of the 14th STI Basketball showdown saw the powerhouse teams demolish the new teams as four time defending champion STI College Santa Rosa showed balanced scoring by beating STI Pasay 100 -33. In the final game, last year’s 1st Runner-up STI College Malolos blasted a stubborn STI College Tanay team 104 -55 to keep pace with the Santa Rosa based defending champs. The opener of the league also saw a vastly improved STI College Caloocan team beat the returning STI College Ortigas-Cainta team 76 - 66. There are Four (4) new teams playing for this year’s STI Basketball Showdown while there are three (3) returnees and five veteran teams.
The four time defending champs used their vaunted full court press once again to set the tone for the new season. The Santa Rosa defense was so stingy that it limited the newcomers to just three points in the second quarter while erupting for 54 points themselves on account of the balanced scoring because of so many steals that led to uncontested fastbreaks.
Veteran Point Guard Reb Maunahan
scores on the fastbreak
Rookies June Aliparo and John Geli led the charge for the Santa Rosa cagers as the duo scored 13 and 10 points respectively while a third rookie Norbert Peña chipped in 9 points. Veterans Reb Maunahan coasted along by scoring 8 points and the vastly improved Addis Lizen added 8 points but was a tower of power by pulling down 15 rebounds. The Santa Rosa defense also produced 30 steals with Raul Guerrero leading the charge with 5 steals.
Groping for form were the newcomers from Pasay as they bled all the way in scoring 33 points as the pesky defense of the Santa Rosa team made them turn the ball over a lot which resulted to fast break points for the Laguna cagers. Jayron Silapan led the Pasay cagers with 10 points while Jovimar Alejandro added 8 points. The STI Pasay team was in shock and had a hard time breaking the full court and half court pressure defense of the defending champs.
The vastly improved STI College Caloocan team opened their season on a winning note by besting returnee STI College Ortigas- Cainta 76 - 66. Kevin Bautista played an all-around game by scoring 19 points and also hauled 10 rebounds to help the Caloocan team break away from a tight first half battle with the Cainta-based ORCA Team. Ably helping him out was Mark Abin and Ariel Bautista who added 14 and 12 points respectively.
De Vera scores on this lay up
Returning to the STI basketball showdown after a long hiatus in the STI basketball scene, STI College Ortigas-Cainta relied on the inside presence of Allen Abes and Robin Merque. Merque was a force in the paint but was unfortunately ganged up by the Caloocan defense which resulted in turnovers. After scoring just three second quarter points, Team ORCA finally heated up in the fourth quarter as they cut a once 17 points lead to six points but the STI College Caloocan team eventually stemmed the tide by scoring in the final minutes for the win.
John Victoria on the pull up jumper
In the last game, Last year’s runner-up, STI College Malolos took advantage of STI College Tanay’s poor transition defense to score almost at will and build on a small lead to a big rout at the end of four quarters. The amazing duo of Abram Pineda and Carlo Jimenez ran rings around the Rizal based Tanay squad as Pineda scored on three fastbreak attempts with a three pointer while Jimenez sank two three pointers from the top of the key to give the Malolos squad a 15 -2 lead in the first three minutes of the game. The Bulacan based dribblers never looked back as they went on to win with a lot to spare.
STI College Tanay on the other hand relied on Mark Anago and Marjon Ludovico as the two tried to bring back the Tanay cagers back to the game but their efforts were not enough against the balanced scoring attack of the Malolos cagers. Anago and Ludovico scored 15 and 14 points respectively and no other team mate scored in double figures. In contrast, the Malolos squad had 5 players score in double figures with John Marcelo leading the scoring parade with 18 markers, Ralph Bonifacio following suit with 14 points, Jimenez and Pineda finishing with 12 points apiece and Robie Angeles chipping in 10 points. Two other Malolos cagers barely scored double figures as veteran center John Victoria and rookie Sherwin Sayo added 9 points apiece to the cause of STI College Malolos.
Loose ball action
This year’s STI Basketball showdown attracted 12 teams and are divided into two groups with six teams each group. The top two teams qualify for the semifinals with the top team getting a twice to beat advantage in the final four. The winners of the final four will figure in a best of three finals. This year, six provincial teams are in the fold while another six metro manila teams answered the call. Five teams from last year are still with the league with three returnees and four new teams. The tournament will run for five weeks. So the question is, will STI College Santa Rosa win their fifth straight title or will there be another champion. Find out as the STI Basketball showdown goes on full gear this year.
STI COLLEGE CALOOCAN (76)
Bautista K. 19, Abin 14, Bautista A. 12, Alonzo 7, Roldan 7, Flores 4, Palle 3, Carcellar 2, Laplana 2, Inocencio 2, Lazaro 2, Nadarisay 2, Richmon 0,
STI COLLEGE ORTIGAS-CAINTA (66)
Abes 19, Merque 12, Deniega 9, Moran 8, De Vera Re. 7, De Vera Ru. 6, Francisco 4, Picones 1, Siongco 0, Mateo 0, Pedida 0, Paredes 0
26 – 24, 38 – 27, 53 – 35, 76 - 66
STI COLLEGE SANTA ROSA (100)
Aliparo 13, Geli 10, Peña 9, Maunahan 8, Lizen 8, Salazar 8, Ursua 8, Almoro 8,Guerrero 6, Mamaed 6, Vincent 6, Caraan 4, Batiquin 2, Sabino 2, Fudotan 2,
STI PASAY (33)
Silapyan 10, Alejandro 8, Amante 4, Santos 4, Macario 3, Lozada 2, Ordonez 2, Dela Cruz 0, Langcauon 0, Fastido 0, Giles 0, Ordoñez 0,
31 – 12, 54 – 15, 78 – 24, 100 - 33
STI COLLEGE MALOLOS (104)
Marcelo 18, Bonifacio 14, Jimenez 12, Pineda 12, Angeles 10, Victoria 9, Sayo 9, Panopio 7, Gatchalian 6, Capule 0, Ecleo 0, Hernandez 0
STI COLLEGE TANAY (55)
Anago 15, Ludovico 14, Piguing 7, Lontok 6, Inguito 5, Tesoro 4, Vista 2, Roderos 1, Roces 0, Lacerna 0, Vidanes 0,