ANTIQUE, Philippines – Two basketball standouts from the National Capital Region and Calabarzon incurred injuries during Thursday’s quarterfinal events for elementary boys.
Roncaniel Teles of Calabarzon made a hard drive to the basket against the interior defenders of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Barreling into the bigs, the 13-year-old managed to heave the ball to look for contact, but the whistle never came and Teles landed on his back. Incapable of moving after his landing, Teles had to be carried off the floor in a stretcher by courtside medics.
Official word on Teles’ medical status has yet to be released as of writing.
Still, the team would rout ARMM regardless of Teles’ absence. Losing the “key” player, as he is described by Calabarzon head coach Raul Silvayana, entailed many strategic adjustments since Teles was the steady hand in the team’s offense.
“We are much better as a unit when we are all together,” Silvayana told Rappler after the game. “It’s crucial, since we’re playing for back-to-back medals.”
Calabarzon in last year’s Palarong Pambansa in Legazpi City, made quick work of the National Capital Region in the finals, trampling the NCR team at 74-59.
Second to fall
Raymond Santos, 13-year-old defensive stopper for the NCR squad, was left out of the quarterfinal game against Bicol Region after falling on his back, and clutching onto his left knee in pain.
His team would go on to win the game at a final score of 71-49, but Santos would not return for the rest of the bout, and his availability for tomorrow’s semifinals remain uncertain.
NCR’s head coach for elementary boys, Marlon Martinez, however, was unfazed by the prospect of losing his defensive anchor. He said he places his trust on his bench, who held its own against Bicol region representatives.
“I have faith in my second unit, so I’m not worried,” Martinez said. “I saw my bench step up today, and so I’m feeling pretty good about my chances.”
As per Martinez, it is likely that Santos only incurred a minor muscle sprain.
Setting the scene
Calabarzon and NCR’s quarterfinal victories set the scene for a rematch of sorts for Friday, April 28’s at the Binirayan Sports Complex.
Both coaches feel optimistic about their chances to snag the gold, but Silvayana maintains Calabarzon has the winning edge.
“Gold has always been the gold from the beginning,” said Silvayana. “We’ve been preparing for this for as far as I can remember, so I am fairly confident.”
Central and Western Visayas also advanced to tomorrow’s semifinals, eliminating Soccksargen and Negros Island Region in the process. – Rappler.com