Oraye points to the direction where
STI College Balagtas is headed - UP!
A lot of people say that there is always a first time for everything. For STI College Balagtas that first time came at a very important time in the STI National Basketball Tournament as they beat the defending champion STI College Santa Rosa 76 – 57 to top Group A on the last day of elimination of the STI NBT National Finals at the EHT Gym in Ortigas-Cainta. The win put the Bulacan based dribblers one foot inside the Championship game as they meet the second seeded team of Group B, STI College Global City for the first seat in the championship game.
Macapagal for three!!!
STI College Balagtas has always preached relentless defense ever since they joined the STI NBT and their preparation came to fruition in the battle for the top spot as they totally shutdown STI College Santa Rosa’s scoring machine June Aliparo. At the start of the quarter both teams were feeling each other first and the scoring was quite hard to get by as both teams were on a stalemate at 6 – all with a little less than five minutes left in the quarter. Then STI College Balagtas went on a 10 – 3 run.
Aliparo tries to evade the Balagtas defense
Jherome Mulano started the run off a Santa Rosa turnover, then after a Brianth Ursua miss Dan Recto converted on a field goal then John Ray Agustin converted to give the Bulakenos a precarious six point lead that grew to seven at the end of the first quarter 16 – 9. STI college Balagtas forced the Laguna based defending champs to six first quarter turnovers and was 6 -0 in second chance points.
Jason Maglalang scored 18 points
In the second quarter Gelo Oraye and Jason Maglalang started things going as STI College Balagtas suddenly had the offensive confidence to match their former tormentors and their defense even became stingier. The team from Bulacan moved the ball well and in one play ended with a three pointer for Dan Recto as STI College balagtas threatened to blow the game away as they led by 14. Brianth Ursua answered with a three pointer of his own but in the next play Paul Macapagal sank another three pointer to give team Balagtas a 32 – 18 lead. Recto ended the quarter with four unanswered points as STI College Balagtas ended the half on top by a whopping eighteen points 36 – 18.
Almoro scores on this jumper
In the third quarter, it was center Jason Maglalang’s time to shine. Limited to a measly six points in their last outing last year, Maglalang more than made up for his lacklustre performance by going four for four in the quarter and was the man in charge of quelling the repeated rallies of STI College Santa Rosa. Back-up center Jewel Policarpio and graduating forward Gelo Oraye also sustained the attack of the Balagtas team as their lead ballooned to 25 points with two minutes left after a Policarpio basket 53 – 28.
Recto on the drive
STI College Santa Rosa gave one final push in the fourth quarter and after Airon Lugar scored with 6:46 left in the game and put the Santa Rosa team to within 16 points, 61 – 45, STI college Balagtas countered with another 12 – 4 run in the next four minutes of play. By the time the last two minutes were announced a fallen Santa Rosa team just went through the motions of finishing the game and their first loss in the STI NBT in three years.
Policarpio for two
All is not lost yet for the STI College Santa Rosa team as they face the STI West Negros University team in the cross-over semifinals to determine the last finalist in the Championship game on Monday. STI College Santa Rosa beat the Bacolod based West Negros team this year and at the same time the Visayas champs are aching for payback for their loss last year. Stay tuned, more quality basketball is about to come.
For more stats of the game please click this link