Boleros dethrones the Minions

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Boleros’ achievement wasn’t only satisfying but was also the sweetest as they have avenged the finals defeats they endured over the past two years against the Minions.

By Sarah Cope, Sports Editor

AUCKLAND – Third time’s a charm for TNComms Boleros as they dethroned two-time champions Ardex Minions, 82-78, to claim the championship crown in the concluding LS Banal Basketball Tournament on July 2 in Kelston Boys High School Gym.

It was Rey Burgos’ firepower at the centre for Boleros that clinched it, plus another strong performance from Bong Eldialde which saw both players with the double-double output of 19 points and 12 rebounds each, while Pao Fajardo shot some sensational baskets late in the fourth quarter to protect their lead from the Minions.

“This championship was really special because everyone was motivated to achieve this,” said TNComms Boleros’ coach Niño Abordo, named Best Coach of the tournament.

Boleros’ achievement wasn’t only satisfying but was also the sweetest as they have avenged the finals defeats they endured over the past two years against the Minions.

“We had to adjust because they were too fast,” said Abordo, referring to the smaller line-up of the Minions. “We couldn’t trap; we couldn’t keep up because we were too big. Luckily we were able to adjust.”

Down only by five points in the first quarter, it was enough motivation not to be a runner-up again after Boleros registered a 10-2 blast to gain momentum and never looked back.

Hebron Canlas and JD Tagimacruz started a 10-2 run in an attempt to rally a comeback in the fourth quarter to put the Minions within striking distance, 70-73, with 5:15 left on the clock, but the hustle of Burgos and Fajardo were enough to protect the lead for Boleros.

Named Finals’ MVP, Burgos made some big playoffs in the fourth quarter in order for Boleros to thwart any attempt by their counterparts, while Fajardo spent some quality minutes off the bench.

“It was such an honour to be named as Finals MVP, but I really have to commend my teammates because we would not have achieved this without a team effort,” said Burgos.

Hebron Canlas, JD Tagimacruz and Patrick Maagdenberg combined scored 59 points for the Minions but came up short as they missed basket after basket in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter due to the swarming defense by Boleros.

In the battle for third place Dimond carved out a come-from-behind win after a breakout second half en route to a 85-59 win against Green Crate.

The Ruvas brothers Gino, Khino and Brian, combined scored 38 points, 12 rebounds and 10 steals to spearhead the revenge of Dimond after last year’s loss to the Greens.

Four Greens players logged double figures in points but came up short of getting another third placer. Mark Lapus and RS Servitillo logged 13 points each while John Reyes and Ivan Santos had 12 a piece.

A short awards ceremony gave recognition to the individual top performers in different categories of the WAFSA-organized tournament.

Maagdenberg was named Season MVP and Best in Rebounds, as well as Mythical 5 player along with Kris Patriarca, Eldialde, Burgos and Gino Ruvas. Tagimacruz, Hebron Canlas, Jhay Salonga, Perry Salas, Rad Ancla, Mark Lachama and Jeremy Waay completed the Mythical team.

The Rookie team consisted of Ancla, Waay, Jonathan Realista, Mickie Lapus and G. Ruvas, who also bagged the Discovery of the Year and Best in Steals medals.

Eldialde took home the 3-point Shootout champion trophy, while Jan Michael Latosa was named Most Improved Player.

The Sportsmanship award was awarded to Andrei Estonactor, Scoring Champion to Patriarca, Block Shot recognition to Salonga, Best in Assist to Ancla and Daniel De Silva was awarded Mr. Quality Minutes.

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