Tuesday, April 24, 2018

STI WNU wins 2nd NBT Title


The Return of the King. When the final buzzer sounded last year during the 2016 – 2017 STI National Basketball Tournament Championship game, the reigning champions STI West Negros were dethroned by a determined STI College Santa Rosa team.  In that game, it was evident that the Laguna based cagers had more firepower than their Bacolod counterparts. This was the second time that the Bacolod team fell short against the Santa Rosa team.

Renz Solomon brought STI WNU 
to greater heights

As the West Negros team prepared for this season, the three remaining pioneers of STI WNU’s first NBT team, Renz Solomon, Charry Cadase and Rouichi Belocura vowed to get back what is rightfully theirs. First stop was beating STI College Santa Rosa in a highly defensive double overtime game. A day after they got back their title as they recovered in the nick of time during crunch time to beat STI College Balagtas 85 – 83 to become the first team to win the NBT twice.

Adjie for two

Renz Solomon got things going in the first few minutes of the game as he scored twelve of the first 14 points of STI WNU as he connected on two lay-ups, two free throws and two three pointers to give the Bacolod team an early 14 – 8 lead in the first minutes of the game as Solomon outscored the entire STI College Balagtas team in the early goings of the game. That eventually woke up the Balagtas defense and triggered their offense as they kept the game close in the first quarter with STI WNU taking a 23 – 19 lead.
Oraye scores to help his team 
get back into the game

STI West Negros would eventually dictate the tempo in the second quarter as they opened the 2nd canto with an 11 – 0 run to put the West Negros team ahead 34 – 19 after three and a half minutes of play. After that, STI College Balagtas countered with a 12 – 2 run in the next three minutes to come to within five 36 – 31. Then STI WNU ended the quarter with a 6 – 0 run that had the West Negros team completely ahead 42 – 31.

Louie Badilles on the fastbreak

Like what most fans say, Basketball is a game or runs which was evident in the second half. STI West Negros started off with a 4 – 0 run to make the Bacolod team completely in command of the game with a 15 point lead 46 – 31 in the 9 minute mark. Acting like true champions, STI College Balagtas fought back again to erase that fifteen point deficit and tied the count at 52 – all as Jherome Mulano continued his game long brilliance by scoring 14 big points in that rally. Belocura then led a 10 – 4 closing run to end the quarter still ahead 62 – 56.
The Mythical 5 (L-R)
Angelito Oraye (Balagtas) Philip Majometano (WNU) Renz Solomon (WNU) Louie Badilles (WNU) Jayson Maglalang (Balagtas)

In the final canto both teams would try hard not to give each other some breathing room because of the defense. STI College Balagtas came back to life after STI WNU threatened to put the game away. Mulano and Oraye punctured the whole from thereon which resulted in STI College Balagtas cacthing up at 78 – all. It was at this juncture  that the clutch plays of Rouichi Belocura was witnessed. Belocura sank the game saving three pointer then Louie Badilles scored on a follow up to put the West Negros team ahead 83 - 78. Solomon would eventually seal the outcome with his free throw after STI College Balagtas turned the ball over in what would’ve been their game saving shot.
STI NBT 2017 - 2018 Season MVP
Renz Solomon

The Return of the King will be hard pressed to repeat next year as King Solomon, Cadase and Belocura will not be eligible next year. But the trio will always remember that they brought two titles to STI WNU and will be missed on how they made the STI WNU the best STI team in the whole country.

for the complete stats of the game please click this link

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