JUBILANT. The gutsy secondary boys from Western Visayas celebrate their victory over the Calabarzon squad. Photo by Fidel Feria/ Rappler
ANTIQUE, Philippines – Victorious in their respective semi-final bouts on Friday, April 28, the National Capital Region (NCR) and Western Visayas secondary boys squads will go face-to-face to battle for Palarong Pambansa gold.
Western Visayas, which defeated the Calabarzon squad at a score of 79-59, was anchored by a gutsy performance from star-center, Ryan Calama-an. Already a draftee of the LaSalle Greenhills Greenies, Calama-an shouldered much of the load on both the offensive and defensive end for Western Visayas.
After sitting out much of the first quarter due to foul-trouble, Calama-an came back with a vengeance. Early in the second quarter, Calama-an posted up to receive the ball on the left-elbow, and turned around to hit a fadeaway jumper to tie the game at 24.
Western Visayas would go on to score on their next two possessions, and would ignite be the beginning of the end for Calabarzon, who never held a lead again after that possession.
The 6’4’’-center from Ilonggo also bothered shot attempts from Calabarzon’s slashing guards, and tallied two emphatic blocked shots that drove the audience at EBJ Gymnasium in frenzy.
Western Visayas head coach Rodel Camacho expressed his surprise at the rate of his success in the Palaro.
“There’s nothing like the feeling of winning,” Camacho said in Hiligaynon. “I certainly did not expect that we’d make it this far.”
Camacho said that they hang their hopes on clogging the lane, and stopping the ball.
“It’s crucial that we maintain our defense, whoever we’re facing,” Camacho added.
For its part, the National Capital Region eviscerated their semi-finals opponent in Central Visayas. Right from the tip, the NCR squad looked to give their opponents a beatdown, going on a 15-4 run within the first six minutes of the opening quarter.
NCR held the lead for the entire game and won by a colossal margin, putting the final score at 72-45.
Apart from tomorrow’s finals game, Calabarzon and Central Visayas will be competing for 3rd and 4th place in the basketball tourney. – Rappler.com
READ: Palarong Pambansa 2017 stories by campus journalists