Team Dois/Tambayan completes back-to-back ICBC championship campaign

Another one for team Dois/Tambayan! (Peter Oñate)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Mission complete.

Championship title successfully defended.

Congratulations, team Dois Seafood/Tambayan Bistro!

With another chance of bagging its second straight Iloilo City Basketball Club (ICBC) championship, team Dois/Tambayan left it all in the playing court and were once again hailed as the kings of the second conference after beating team Kucho Café/Medal Sportswear, 81-78, last December 18, 2023.

After splitting the first two games in the best-of-three ICBC championship series, both squads entered the do-or-die Game 3 with the ultimate aim of hoisting another trophy before the year ends.

However, it was team Dois who showed grit and were the hungrier team as they pulled off a come-from-behind win to stun team Kucho/Medal.

It was what you can witness in a nip-and-tuck championship game. Both teams answered baskets and always provided counter runs when the opposing squad hosted a mini-scoring barrage.

During the second period, team Kucho/Medal started to gain some separation after Michael Medez drained several three-pointers which gave his squad a slim six-point advantage.

Just when Kucho/Medal thought they could sustain their intensity, team Dois replied with a personal scoring run from Ariane Tupas who dropped 13 points in the quarter alone.

With only a minute and 15 seconds remaining in the game, Medal still held to their 74-75 lead but Dois’ Joshua Manaay stepped up and buried a crucial jumper to help his team retake the advantage, 76-75.

Not letting his team fold, Nicolas Ormas hit a basket on the other end that put Medal back in the driver’s seat, 76-77.

The biggest moment for Dois then came in the final 40 seconds of the finals match after Rush Rubin converted the most important foul-counted play that gave his squad a two-point lead, 79-77.

Unfortunately, Medal failed to score during their next offensive possession which forced them to foul Rubin who cashed in a free throw for an added cushion.

Aside from the trio of Tupas, Manaay, and Rubin, Tantan Flores also came up big for the back-to-back champions and poured in 23 big points while also winning the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

Way to go, team Dois!