- Talisay City Aquastars won the series 2-1
- Aquastars team captain Jay Deiparni scored the game-high 24 points
- Mandaue City started to play individual games that were the main cause of their demise
THE Talisay City Aquastars stayed focused on the job at hand all game long as they denied Mandaue City Ballers, to win its first back-to-back title following a 74-69 win in the deciding Game 3 of the Cebu Governor’s Cup 2019 Inter-Cities/Municipalities Basketball Tournament at the University of San Carlos Gym.
The Aquastars came up with counter shots on every point dropped by the Ballers to keep their heads afloat especially when Mandaue City was aiming to sneak from behind after trailing by as many as 12 points, 60-48 early in the fourth quarter.
“I told my players to stay relaxed and never allow Mandaue’s game to affect our focus. We stayed on course and continued to give our best in order to achieve what we wanted to achieve, and that wins the championship,” Talisay City coach Rey Gurrea told iNews.Ph.
It was a sad ending for Mandaue who had a wonderful ran on its way to the finals and having to forge a deciding Game 3 after losing the first game of the series.
“Amo gyud gi practisan and ilang (Mandaue’s) pressure defense. I emphasized that we should give more premium on teamwork because we were better this way. We won games because we were selfless and we trusted each other. There was huge pressure on my side but my players responded to my instructions and they themselves don’t want to lose,” added Gurrea.
Mandaue City had a good start, leading by as much as nine points, 16-7 after a low scoring first five minutes that saw both teams locked at 4-all.
Jhun Art Marco came out from the bench and scored six points that helped Mandaue City build its biggest lead and eventually lead 20-14 after the first quarter.
However, the Aquastars came out roaring at the start of the second period and outscored the Ballers 16-4 in the first five minutes on its way to lead 40-31 at the end of the first half.
Jay Deiparine then exploded with nine points in the third period as Talisay City had Mandaue City totally under control.
“We couldn’t have made (won the championship back-to-back), if not for the Almighty God. And also our families and the people of Talisay City. It was a tough ride but we were able to deliver what we had practiced and made it into our strongest weapon against (Mandaue City). Medyo na pressure mi when they started to regain back their footings and dropped a 12-4 counter-rally. But coach (Gurrea) told us to stay calm and focused and enjoy the game, That was why we were able to regroup and dominate the rest of the way,” said Talisay City team captain Jay Deiparine.
After scoring only nine points in Game 2, Deiparine exploded in the game to log the game-high 24 points for Talisay City.
Although his age is very much qualified to play next year, Deiparine will not be playing for Talisay City as he got basketball scholarship offers to become a part of the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars in the CESAFI college tournament in August.
Gab Cometa, on the other hand, is also not coming back for Mandaue City as he takes his skills to the Collegiate level as he is scheduled to play with the multi-title University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers when the new CESAFI Season.
“The title was not really meant for us. We were not playing the way we played in Game 2 and our shots were not falling. I think we began self-destructing when (Kenneth) Brillo was called for an unsportsmanlike foul in the second quarter (6:34). Since then, we were not the same, we played individual games and our shots were not falling, and we committed many turnovers also. Unfortunately, I won’t be playing for Mandaue City next year as I will be playing in the collegiate level already,” explained Cometa.
Brillo who had an imposing presence in Game 2 became very frustrated as he missed five of his six attempts even he went 4-of-4 from the free throw line. He, however, loaded the boards as he plucked down 12 rebounds and three shot blocks, but his production was limited by Talisay City’s defense to only had eight points before fouling out at the 52.2 seconds mark of the fourth period.
Aside from Deiparine’s performance, Talisay City also had 13 points, ts from Clark Louis Ruedas, 11 from Keaton Clyde Taburnal and 10 points from Ronan Briones while Cometa delivered 19 points, LJ Gonzaga finished with 14 points and Paul John Sungajod tallied 12 points for Mandaue City.
As another season came to a close, the Cebu Provincial Sports Commission (CPSC) headed by its executive director Atty. Ramil Abing is thankful to all the teams who participated in the 3-month long tournament.
“Another smashing season. All teams had improved a lot. They are now more organized and improved as a team. We hope that we could continue this project since this has become the scouting grounds not just for local teams but for national schools as well,” Abing stressed.
Talisay City bagged the P500,000 cash prize being the champion while Mandaue City settled for the P300,000 runner-up’s prize.
Talisay City (74) – Deiparine 24, Ruedas 13, Taburnal 11, Briones 10, Abarquez 9. Bacasmas 3., Beduya 2.
Mandaue City (69) – Cometa 19, Gonzaga 14, Sungahid 12, Brillo 8, Buscay 7, Marco 5, Dabon 3. Quarterscores: 14-20; 40-31; 58-48; 74-69.