Thursday, June 26, 2014

STI College Santa Rosa completes their drive for five

The champions with the Five sign 

A lot of basketball purists say the first title in any basketball tournament is usually the hardest because it is the culmination of many hard decisions, countless sacrifices and remarkable choices that are made to create a winning team. Doing it all over again is quite easier, if you have all the pieces together but doing it all over again with different people is like starting all over again. In a nutshell, that is the story of the STI College Santa Rosa basketball program which, through the years, has metamorphosed into a model of consistency when it comes to basketball. What this team has accomplished will be the benchmark in which all future STI teams will be measured with.  As the 14th STI Basketball tournament comes to an end, the STI College Santa Rosa team added another story to their legendary run as they beat the STI College Global City team 85 - 68 at the fabled Rizal Memorial Coliseum to capture their fifth consecutive crown.

Jan Almoro's undergoal stab

The Global City squad started the game by employing their own suffocating defense to frustrate the Laguna -based Santa Rosa team.  Unlike in Game 1 when their defense was nowhere to be found, and their offensive patterns were in quelled by the Santa Rosa defense, the Taguig-based challengers seem to be more focused and more prepared as they disrupted the Santa Rosa offense that have the defending champions take careless shots that resulted in missed baskets.

Robert Salazar scores on the fastbreak

Unfortunately for the Global City team, their good defense went for naught as the Santa Rosa dribblers got the offensive rebounds from the missed shots they made and more importantly scored on those occasions. Just like in Game 1, the Global City offense got frozen as the Taguig boys missed four straight free throws that gave Santa Rosa an early 6 – 0 lead that made Coach RK Morales call a timeout.  After the timeout STI College Global City finally ran better offensive patterns that resulted in made baskets for them. STI College Santa Rosa then fought back as second year forward Jan Almoro waxed hot to score nine first quarter points to give the defending champions a 25 -12 first quarter lead.

Arjay Napeñas on the drive

The next two quarters were just the same as STI College Santa Rosa went full blast with its high octane offense and stingy defense by outscoring their opponents 40 – 35 in the next two quarters. Although their defense was much more improved, the Global City offense can’t seem to get going as ace gunner Jim Lontoc had a hard time finding his shot which resulted in a 7 point output. Forward Mike Sampurna and Center Arjay Napeñas carried the fight for the Global City team as Sampurna scored 8 points in the second quarter while Napeñas had 11 third quarter points which came mostly on inside plays. 

The tight defense on Jim Lontoc

The team from Taguig came up with good plays but can’t seem to put the Santa Rosa lead down to single digits.  Every time the Global City team would make a run, the Santa Rosa team would eventually answer back with a run of their own.  In the fourth quarter, Jan Almoro dealt the killer blows as he scattered 8 more points enroute to a 23 point game to crush all the rally hopes of the STI College Global City team that ended their amazing run in this year's STI Basketball showdown. With still a minute left and the Santa Rosa team comfortably ahead, the Global City squad threw in the towel by fielding in their third stringers as a sign of respect to the champs. The STI College Santa Rosa basketball team are champions once again for the fifth straight year.

Mike Sampurna scores two

This year’s MVP is STI College Santa Rosa's do-it-all forward Jan  Almoro who had a tournament high of 423.5 statistical points. As if the gods planned it, Almoro saved his best performance in the final game of the season as he added 9 rebounds, an assist and a steal to go along with his 23 points.  Almoro was joined by co-forward Addis Lizen (411.50 SP), guards Norbert Peña (381.00 SP) and Raul Guerrero (372.00 SP), and center Arjay Napeñas (353.00 SP) of Global City in the Mythical 5.  The statistical points came from the points, rebounds, assists, steals and block shots of the players with bonus points on coming from wins.

Dan Mamaed lays it in

In the five years that the STI College Santa Rosa team won their titles they had a total of 41 players playing for them. Twenty went on to witness one title win including 2010 MVP Winston Balmaceda, fourteen played in two title runs that had 2011 MVP Aries Santos playing on both squads, three got to play for a grand slam team which included 2012 MVP Ruzzel Parala, another three played in their four-peat team last year which was the last year of 2013 MVP Mark Arzola and only Reb Dimaunahan played in all five of those title romps.  This just shows the consistency of the Santa Rosa team.

Raul Guerrero scores on this fastbreak

Congratulations to Coach Leo Callado who has recruited quality talent that he molded and motivated in the past five years to come out with the best team in the STI Basketball showdown five years and running. This just shows his dedication to excellence which is an STI trait. Congratulations also to the management of STI College Santa Rosa namely Mr. Tony and Bess del Carmen and Mr. Bien del Carmen. To the Global City squad, all good teams go through what you have gone through and we hope this finals experience will help spark your competitive spirit that will make you aim higher next time around.

The 14th STI Basketball Showdown MVP

In the battle for third place, John Marcelo, Abram Pineda, Sherwin Sayo and Ralph Bonifacio all scored in double figures to lead the STI College Malolos to an 82 – 58 win over the overachieving STI College Fairview team.  The Regalado based cagers were led by their center Renz Galvez who scored 19 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked 2 shots.  This is the second time in three years that STI College Malolos placed third.

The Mythical Five: Jan Almoro, Norbert Peña, 
Raul Guerrero, Addis Lizen, 
Not in picture is Arjay Napeñas

The Scores:

First Game
Marcelo 19,  Pineda 14, Bonifacio 14, Sayo 12, Cruz 7, Jimenez 4, Hernandez 4, Latagan 3, Gatchalian 3, Victoria 2, Panopio 0, Angeles 0, Ecleo 0,

Galvez 19, Eli 11, Arangel 9, Gustilo 4, Brillantes 4, Colcol 4, Inojales 4, Sanggacala 2, Labanon 1, Avenir 0, Esteban 0, Ontal 0

Quarter scores:  19 – 15,  43 – 29, 64 – 40, 82 - 58

Second Game

Almoro 23, Guerrero 14, Salazar 14, Lizen 10, Mamaed 7, Peña 6, Batiquin 4, Aliparo 4, Romero 3, Ursua 0, Sabino 0, Geli 0, Maunahan 0, Fudotan 0, Caraan 0,

Napeñas 17, Sampurna 12, Bernal 8, Lontoc 7, Bungar 6, Carlos 5, Pangilinan 4, Natividad 4, Abuy 3, Gubat 2, Norte 0, Baldoza 0, Delabajan 0, Sultan 0

Quarter scores:  25 - 12, 46 - 29, 65 - 47, 85 - 68

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