Iloilo outduels Negros, crowned as kings of the WVRPISAA tertiary men’s hoops

Congratulations, team Iloilo! (Leobert Julian A. de la Peña)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Iloilo men’s tertiary basketball team made sure they’ll deliver the gold medal in front of their Ilonggo fans after taking down Negros, 89-76, during the recently concluded Western Visayas Private Schools Athletic Association (WVPRISAA), last May 20, 2023, held at the University of San Agustin main gym in Iloilo City.

In a packed San Agustin gym, the Ilonggo collegiate ballers from the Central Philippine University (CPU) Golden Lions and the Western Institute of Technology (WIT) brought pride once again after escaping a tough challenge from the Colegio de Santa Ana de Victorias, the school that represented Negros.

Just like their first encounter to determine which team will gain the twice-to-beat advantage last May 19, 2023, Negros went toe-to-toe with Iloilo and even had a slim advantage when their shots from the three-point line started to connect.

However, Iloilo changed gears after calling most of their offensive plays for their star center Jesse Sullano and paid off the trust of the team when he drew tons of fouls.

Sullano’s aggressiveness down the block put Negros’ big men in early foul trouble while rewarding Iloilo with several converted shots from the charity stripe.

It was then shades of their first game as Negros came storming back again with the help of their signature full-court pressure defense that put Iloilo in a drought.

Needing someone to make Negros pay with their over-committing double-team help defense, Iloilo’s stretch big man Paul Guerrero answered the call and buried a barrage of treys that helped swell their lead.

Every time Negros deployed their hard double team at the top of the key, Elcyd Pascual, Wilmer Dalumpines, and Kevin Barranco were wise to throw the extra pass to a wide-open Guerrero waiting in the corner.

Unfortunately, Negros went cold offensively in the last three minutes and could only watch Iloilo play beautiful basketball with their ball movement.

With the win, Iloilo will be marching to the national PRISAA tournament to be held in Zamboanga City.