By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
After two months of grueling competition, the ODM pre-Sinadya basketball Cup has finally reached the pinnacle.
The two best teams are left vying for the first-ever ODM pre-Sinadya title and will have the chance to be hailed as Roxas City’s best team as they’re set to take on the hardwood today, 4:30 PM.
Will it be the young and surging Hercor Jaguars, or the veteran and composed team of TJ Cong Tawi who will notch the title?
The Jaguars proved that they have the endurance and the winning mentality to finish games, especially in their semifinal matchup against Iloilo’s CPU Golden Lions.
Many doubted the Jaguars to cruise through but their guts and clutch shots earned them a spot in the finals, thanks to a reliable Mon Lustria who shot the lights out and broke CPU’s hearts with his daggers.
The tandem of Gasacao and Maquiling also proved to be Hercor’s anchor underneath as the young and athletic big men took care of the boards and the paint.
Julius David also played well in the semis, giving Hercor a lift and the timely baskets they needed to pull away against CPU.
On the other hand, the TJ Cong Tawi squad was always the favorite to win in every series they played and had an easier path to the finals as they demolished Rovil Autohub in both games.
The mix of veteran and young players was a sight to behold as big names in Panay basketball played in one team, running like a well-oiled machine.
Fronting a lineup of Michael Balbarada, Bong-Bong Talimay, Anel Aman, and May Parohinog, team TJ Cong was considered a powerhouse from the get-go.
Former Mapua Red Robin Dan Arches who was ranked as the 16th over-all player in the PH by the NBTC, also provided shooting for the team, averaging a scorching 4 threes a game.
Expect an exciting back and forth between Hercor and TJ Cong. Game 2 of the finals will be on December 2, 2019.