Estares drives to the basket
Estares born. That should be a fitting title to STI Koronadal’s Jayson Estares, a title that came from the movie “A star is Born.” Estares willed his Mindanao team to summon their never say die spirit to come back and beat a stubborn STI College Balagtas team 75 – 71 and take second spot of Group B and the right to fight it out with STI West Negros University for third place in the STI National Basketball Tournament National Finals.
Playing superb ball handling skills, the STI College Koronadal team was able to break the vaunted trapping defense of STI College Balagtas and score on fastbreaks as well. The team from South Cotabato opened up an eleven point lead at the start of the fourth quarter 61 – 50 with 8 minutes left. This prompted Coach Carlo Tan to call a time out and regroup. Eventually his boys responded by coming up with a 9 – 0 run in the next two minutes, now it was Coach Erald Rosal’s time to call a time out.
After that Elmer Palmes scored on a three pointer to make it 64 – 59 with 5:47 left. Then STI College Balagtas countered once again with a 10 – 2 run anchored on David Guhiting and Aries Estanislao that gave them the upper-hand and momentum with a 69 – 66 lead and time down to 2:05 left in the game.
Then came the heroics of Estares as he drained a three pointer from a botched play that tied the count 69 – all with 1:21 second left. After trading baskets, Estares iced the game with two free throws to give the Mindanao squad the second place in Group B of this nationwide tournament.
STI COLLEGE KORONADAL (75)
Estares 21, Orocio 13, Palmes 11, Puerto 7, Caguisano B. 6, Libdan 5, Sulit 4, Lopez 4, Caguisano J. 0, Valencia 0
STI COLLEGE BALAGTAS (71)
San Pedro 12, Estanislao 11, Oraye 10, Guhiting 10, Rafols 9, Miranda 7, Reyes 6, Macapagal 6, Cervantez 0,
Quarter scores:16 – 19, 39 – 34, 56 – 50, 75 -71