BAGUIO CITY – Ruiz Optical Clinic (ROC) became champions for the second time in a row as the 12th YMCA Cup Invitational Basketball Tournament, Corporate Division, concluded its final round of games last Sunday, October 9, 2016, with four championship matches in four brackets.
The first championship match-up for Bracket A, group A, between opponents Ruiz Optical Clinic and Artiaga gave the championship day a lively start as both teams gave it all in their performance as a close encounter to control the game was seen in both ball clubs. ROC took an early lead in the first canto that continued in the second canto to end the halftime buzzer with a big 47-26 lead.
ROC kept on controlling the boards and the game pace, and pounded Artiaga with basket conversions on the third to add more points for a sure win. They coasted in the fourth canto to end the game with a 96-70 win.
Meanwhile, the Falcons had their share of the championship in bracket A, group B, as they gave Mommy la Resto a good clash in the second game of the day with an 85-64 win. In the third game, the Spartans nipped the Spades, 86-83, for the bracket C championship.
The Spartans got the upper hand in the first canto of play, posting a 21-10 lead, however, the Spades came back strong in the second canto of play including beating the buzzer for the first half, to close in, the Spartan lead, trailing by only two points 39-42 at the end of the second quarter.
The Spartans recovered from the first half experience and came out with strategies that boosted the team back to its feet as they started to pile up points in the third canto. They eventually regained their composure and up their lead at end the third canto of play, 64-54.
Spade again started strong in the final canto, haunting the Spartans with their steady shooting till the dying minutes to retake the lead on the last minute of play via a free throw 80-79. The Spartans, however, came up with a three pointer that handed them back the lead only to be answered by a Spades three pointer of their own to lead by one, 83-82, with the time dying. Playing smart was the key factor as the Spartans fished out two fouls that sent them to the line for four conversions to nip the championship.
The Fourth game action saw BWD-A matching up with the younger Ballers Bloopers for bracket M. BWD-A tokk the lead after the first two quarters of the ballgame, 37-29. The Ballers Bloopers, however, sized up their opponent and came in with a run using speed and agility to take the lead for the first time at the dying minutes of the third canto, 65-61.
With the possibility of an upset in mind, the Ballers Bloopers came in the fourth canto of play with a whole court press. The more experienced BWD-A, however, did not give up their ground easily. They devised offensive strategies to counter the press. Their experience led them to survive the game with an 88-83 score to win the championship for Bracket M.
Meanwhile, Bracket Y top team, Filambri, bowed down to Ruiz Optical Clinic-A for the championship. ROC-A had to travel a long way to reach the finals. They beat GWE in a two to beat disadvantage match up last week. In the final game, ROC-A, with only nine team members, managed to put a five point lead 27-22 at the end of the first canto buzzer. They maintained the lead until the end of the second quarter posting, 53-46.
Third quarter action still had the ROC persistently maintaining their lead as they converted basket after basket to post a twelve point lead, 84-72, at the end of the third quarter. ROC steadily controlled the boards at the fourth canto of play with precision shooting to make it hard for ROC to cop out. With the eight players jelling just right in the fourth and final canto, ROC managed to hang on to win the game, 106-100.
Concluding the basketball tilt was the awarding ceremonies graced by YMCA President Jerome Gawidan. Gawidan thanked all participants as winners and told teams for a possible second round of the corporate cup after the Inter-School basketball tilt now on-going will finish. Added prizes were also awarded to the best players in each bracket namely: Carlito Solis of ROC-B, Allan Rabina for Falcons, Carlo Goyala for Spartans, Shane Balinges for BWD and Ahmed Alshati for ROC-A. The YMCA CUP award was also given to 50’s Dinners for team attitude, attendance, sportsmanship, and team leadership.