Team Mabuhay snatched the crown in its first finals appearance in the 2017 Poblacion East Inter-Purok Basketball Tournament by sweeping former champion Buklod, 2-0, in their best-of-three series.
After it went through the eye of the needle to make it to the play-off round, Mabuhay also brushed-aside the championship experience of Buklod as the title-hungrier Mabuhay players made-mince of the opposition in their Game One encounter, 119-98, on April 12 at the Dr. Efren U. De San Jose Memorial Sports Center.
Mabuhay also controlled the tempo of the match in Game Two on April 15 with the final score stood at 111-107 even as Buklod had made some adjustments to at least put the game closer compared to the previous encounter.
Buklod rallied from a 11-point deficit at the end of third quarter (76-87) but ran out of time as Purok Mabuhay went away with the win and bagged the top purse of P20,000.
The Governor’s Office donated a total of P100,000 for the tournament.
Buklod took the second prize worth P15,000 while last year’s champion Maganda was third this time and won P10,000.
All the other teams got consolation prize of P5,000 each. These are Pag-asa, Saranay, Layunin and Bagong Silang.
Purok Mabuhay finished fourth after the single-round robin eliminations with three wins and three losses defeating Bagong Silang (81-62), Saranay (77-61) and Layunin (73-69) and dropping their game to Maganda (76-87), Pag-asa (61-66) and Buklod (86-114) to barge into the sudden-death semifinal round.
Thus, Mabuhay ambushed the number two team Maganda with the slimmest of margins, a 79-78 decision to advance to the championship match.
Maganda, which finished the round-robin with a 5-1 record settled for third place by beating Pag-asa.
Buklod won all of its six games of the elimination round and defeated Pag-Asa, 100-90, in the semis.
Mabuhay is composed of Meynard Felipe, Manolo Bacuyag, Jimson Labinay, Michael Pesca, Dominador Usita Jr., Karl Jhon Ferrer, Romeo Roque Jr., Godffrey Nizar P. Uniana, Kingford J. Rabanal, JunJun Garon, Roldan Baltazar, Sherwin C. Barroga and Joel Rimando.
Kagawad Irwin Eulalio Ubay became the first coach to win a back-to-back title in the inter-purok as he steered two different teams in two separate seasons.
He also called the shots for 2015 champion team Purok Maganda before Purok Mabuhay became his sector.
There was no tournament in 2016 due to financial constraints.
Purok Buklod won the inaugural tournament in 2014 defeating Pag-Asa in the finals.
Skippered anew this year by Sangguniang Bayan Member Sergio D. Sabbun III, playing coach Marx Edward Yu and spitfire Red Agustin, it was the third straight finals appearance for Buklod thus losing twice in the last two finals to two different teams but with the same coach.
Completing the line-up for Team Buklod are Ronel “Binladen” Malda, Earl Arellano, Mark Aguinaldo, Duanne Carlos, Karl Villanueva, Ivan Villanueva, Nick Calipdan, Jerome Maddela, Reymond Villanueva, Brix Villanueva, MJ Lopez, Louie Teneca, Joshua Mathew Aguda and Benjiemar Vertud.
Poblacion East Barangay chairman Manny Biggayan, who is also the Vice President of the Liga ng Barangay and e-officio member of the Sangguniang Bayan thanked Gov. Elias C. Bulut Jr. for fully supporting this annual sports activity. KN