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:
Nermal 17, Solomon 17, Galvez 13, Veloso 10, Villarias 7, Vizcarra 6, Sajo 5, Belocura 4, Pastias 1,

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

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