Marinerong Pilipino cagers celebrate after bagging the championship in the Cebu City Sinulog Cup 2018 Basketball Invitational last night at the Cebu Coliseum. PAUL JUN E. ROSAROSO



Marinerong Pilipino reigns supreme in Sinulog Cup
Rico S. Navarro (The Freeman) - January 14, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Commercial Basketball is back! After ten lead changes and eight ties in the second half and overtime, Marinerong Pilipinas scraped past Cebu Landmasters/Bogo, 89-80, in a close, heart-stopping championship game before some 3,000 people, to bag the title of the Cebu City Sinulog Cup 2018-Basketball Invitational last night at the Cebu Coliseum.

It was a fitting way to end the tournament that was organized to revive commercial basketball in Cebu.

The game was close from start to end with neither side giving way until Mike Ayonayon finally gave Marinerong Pilipino the much-needed breathing room in overtime, scoring twelve of his tournament-high 32 points to singlehandedly hand the win to the Skippers.

The Skippers enjoyed leads of 17-14, 38-34 and 54-50 at the end of the first three periods before the Landmasters went on a 12-2 run to take the lead at 62-56 early in the fourth quarter and getting the home crowd going.

The Skippers calmly replied to tie the game at 65-all, and this was followed by an exchange of baskets, with Ferdinand Lusdoc’s free throws with eight ticks left sending the game into overtime at 74-all.

The Landmasters jumped to a 79-76 lead early in overtime, again getting the home crowd going, but setting the stage for Ayonayon’s heroics. He drilled two triples then made a pull-up jumper and two daring drives to give the Skippers an 88-80 lead with 37 seconds left in OT.

The Landmasters where shut down throughout OT, managing only two field goals and two points from the free throw line. Ayonayon’s added eight rebounds to his MVP performance.

Renzo Subido, who missed the previous showdown between the two teams, added 15 points, while Billy Robles had twelve. Lusdoc, who wowed the crowd with his floaters, led the Landmasters with 28 points and eight boards. Willam McAloney added 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Prince Orizu scored 14 points and had ten rebounds.

Ayonayon was named MVP while Frederick Elombi of UC/M. Lhuillier was awarded as the Best Import. Joining them in the Mythical Five were Billy Robles of the Skippers, Lusdoc of the Landmasters and Justine Dacalos of UC/M.Lhuillier. In the game for third place, UC/M. Lhuillier thumped USJR/May Abohan, 84-72.

If this was to be the basis for the re-birth of commercial basketball, then the future looks bright.

This was the over-all assessment of Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo who thanked to crowd for watching the games of the five-team, six day tournament.


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