By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
After an impressive victory against the St. Robert’s Panda Rockets in the semifinals, the Hua Siong College of Iloilo basketball men trounced Sta. Clarita, 89-76, in the 2019 PRISAA Men’s basketball secondary finals.
It was a great day for basketball fanatics in Iloilo City as the University of San Agustin’s main gym was filled with fans and their respective school community giving the much-needed cheers and jeers the players needed.
Hua Siong wasted no time and started hot, slicing through Sta. Clarita’s at every opportunity, with Dave Bagatnan getting to the basket at will.
The men in red jumped to a 6-0 run in just 2 minutes and made it hard for Sta. Clarita to convert their opportunities as Cedrick Manzano anchored the Hua Siong shaded area with efficiency.
Sta. Clarita then began to connect with their shots from deep that enabled them to keep within striking distance as Hua Siong started to turn the ball over.
Hua Siong’s sloppiness also resulted into fastbreak opportunities for Sta. Clarita allowing them to stay in the game.
Hua Siong’s Julian Mavrick Puerto then took over and dished out dimes to his teammates in the break, feeding a trailing Reniel Gamboa in the fast break numerous times.
Sta. Clarita managed to cut the lead, but the trio of Bagtanan, Puerto, and Gamboa was able to handle the scoring load that enabled them to pull away.
Hua Siong’s James Beker played a vital role in Hua Siong’s victory, grabbing tons of rebounds and electrified the crowd with his energy and relentlessness.
Hua Siong also nabbed the elementary boys basketball title.