Wednesday, June 18, 2014

DYNASTY or DESTINY - The Finals of the 14th STI Basketball Showdown

Jan Almoro's inside presence will be needed by
STI College Santa Rosa

Four time defending champion STI College Santa Rosa is on a mission to snare their fifth straight STI Basketball Showdown crown.  In the history of the 14 year league there has been only four teams that has won the championship and STI College Santa Rosa is on the verge of matching the 5-year romp of DLS-STI from 2005 - 2009.  Trying to stop that from happening is a team which has a date with Destiny.  In fact this is the first time for the STI College Global City team to make it to the finals.  That is why this finals showdown will either solidify STI College Santa Rosa's Dynasty or make STI College Global City fulfill their date with Destiny.

Jim Lontoc's inside and outside scoring
is the key to Global City's offense
The trademark of STI College Santa Rosa has been their relentless and tenacious no-nonsense defense. Coach Leo Callado said that this year is actually a rebuilding year for their school and that they have many new faces and that their former MVPs have since moved on. Unfortunately for the other teams, nothing has changed as Coach Callado shuffled his men like a deck of cards and used his players depending on their defensive tenacity. This produced wonders as the Laguna based cagers won all five elimination games with an average winning margin of 60 points! They produced the highest scoring game (131 points) and the least allowed points (29 points). 

Robert Guerrero's fastbreak plays will definitely
give Global City guards a hard time
Leading the way are the two center forwards Addis Lizen and Jan Almoro. Lizen is averaging 8.0 points per game, 8.0 rebounds per game, 2.3 steals per game and 1 block shot per game. Almoro on the other hand is averaging 11.6 ppg,  4.8 rpg and 1.3 spg.  The Santa Rosa guards on the other hand are led by Norbert Peña (10.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2 apg, 2.1 spg) Robert Salazar (9.3 ppg, 1 apg, 2.0 spg) Raul Guerrero (8.8 ppg.,2.5 rpg, 2 apg., 1.6 spg.) Michael Sabino (8.8 ppg, 2.0 apg, 2.67 spg.) and veteran Reb Maunahan (9.0 ppg, 2.67 apg.). Steady players from the bench include big men Dan Mamaed, Vincent Romero and John Geli while the heady guards that combine for steals are Kenneth Batiquin, June Aliparo, Bryan Ursau, Mark Caraan and Dean Fudotan.  Expect the 13-15 man rotation of Coach Callado to come in and out of the game to make them always fresh in defending their opponents.

King Carlos and the Global City guards
can also run the fastbreak efficiently
The Global City squad has always been a contender but unfortunately always fell short during the semifinals. This is the first time that this team has won in the final four and the new leaders of the team are reaping the dividends of the years of experience endured during those unfruitful runs.  Coached by former STI College Olympians RK Morales, the Global City team was unbeaten in the eliminations and took the top spot by beating last year's runner-up STI College Malolos in their Group B meeting. Coach RK employs a good solid defense complemented by a sound offense that utilizes the strengths of their inside men and shooters as well.

Dan Mamaed's defense, rebounding and scoring
will help STI College Santa Rosa's Bigs 
get the job done
Leading the pack are the shooting tandem of Mike Sampurna (15 ppg.) and Jim Patrick Lontoc (12.8 ppg). You can liken the two to the Splash Brothers (Steph Curry and Clay Thompson) of the Golden State Warriors. If the Sampurna and Lontoc are the outside gunners, Jeanssen Pangilinan (10.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and Arjay Napeñas (8.0 ppg, 10.6 rpg) are the inside presence of the Global City team.  Manning the point are crack guards King Carlos (8.0 ppg, 2.0 apg), Jeremy Bungar (6.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg., 3.0 apg.) and Junard Gubat (4.0 ppg., 2.2 rpg., 2.7 apg.,). Other notable contributors are Jeric Bernal (5.0 ppg., 5.3 rpg., 1.7 spg.) and Micko Abuy (2.3 ppg.).  Michael Norte, Jejomar Baldoza, Vince Delabajan, Medardo Sultan  and Jumel Natividad complete their team of 14.
Arjay Napeñas will have to make his presence felt
inside the paint

Game 1 of the finals starts on June 20, 2014 at the STI College Global City gym at 2:00 pm.  Game 2 will be played at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum on June 25, 2014 at 3:00 pm while Game 3 if necessary will be once again at the STI College Global City Gym. Will it be Dynasty or Destiny, take your pick, watch the games and cheer for your team.

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