When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.
With its bunch of rookies crumbling into pressure, Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School summoned the experience of its three key players to carry them over the hill in the homestretch and just like that, came out with a 70-67 pulsating win over Jesus Soriano National High School.
Sunday’s opener of the 2017 Escandor Cup Inter-Public High School Under-14 basketball tournament at the Davao City Recreation Center could well typify the intensity of this SBP-sanctioned event devoted specially for state secondary schools.
Coach Ronnie Berato of DRANHS exacted the best out of his experienced troika of Joven Deligero, Christian Gumapac and Jemar Pojas who combined for 45 points to bail the team out of the roughshod against the hard-fighting JSNHS crew.
DRANHS took command early 26-11 at the end of the first period but JSNHS came surging back in the second canto to finally catch up at 37-all. Both teams engaged in a see-saw battle in the third until DRANHS’ big three took matters into their hands to erect a six-point cushion going into the final four minutes of the match.
JSNHS tried to launch a final surge but DRANHS’ veterans simply had the answer each time.
Deligero led all scorers with 19 points while Christian Gumapac and Jemar Pojas drilled in 13 points apiece.
“Mostly kasi sa mga players ko are born 2005 and nadadala sila sa pressure kasi mostly din mga first-timer,” said Berato after the game.
Sean Toloy and Jowell Vergara paced JSNHS with 11 and nine points, respectively.
In the second game, Cabantian National High School was playing against Bernardo Carpio National High School as of presstime.
Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) executive program officer Ronel Leuterio along with SBP commissioner Oscar Salvador, SBP regional commissioner lawyer Francis Calatrava, SBP education committee Billy Cruzada and SBP consultant Macario Cabonce presided over the opening ceremonies on behalf of SBP regional head and Board member Glenn Escandor.
Meantme, Leuterio announced that SBP will have a free clinic for the participating teams set on November 26.