“Suklian natin ang sipag ng pagluwas ng mga taga-Batangas, taga-Rizal and lalo ang mga taga-Quezon, galingan natin lahat, dapat tayo ang manalo! Let’s go!!,” said Mark Joseph Dela Peña to his teammates right before the whistle at the end of the 5th minute which signaled Batch 2’s turn on the court.
On July 28, 2022, beating drums, colorful confetti and long balloons abound, as Team CALABARZON swept Team Yamete to win the 1st ever Commissioner’s Cup spearheaded by COA Basketball Association in close coordination with the Philippine Government Audit Service Employees Association (PhilGASEA). This event is bar to none because it is the first ever basketball championship series in the pandemic era.
In an epic battle that will go down in history, CALABARZON beat Yamete 79-77 to finish the series, though CALABARZON won two straight games to take home the title, this series was extremely close all throughout. CALABARZON twice defeated Yamete by two (2) points, and only had a four-point average margin of victory as the first game held last Tuesday July 26, 2022 ended with 81-79 win, in a jaw-clenching match that saw the audience gripping their seats.
“I wasn’t playing well in the first three quarters but the confidence of my teammates and coaches on my ability was still high throughout the game which helped me focus. During those last five minutes, my mentality was: I came here not to play, but to win!” said Dexter Villaflores, who was the MVP of the final game as he scored fourteen (14) crucial points in the fourth (4th) quarter and 4 rebounds. Villaflores was calm, collected, and had balls of steel as he was able to shoot not one but three “3-point shots” when CALABARZON lagged behind as high as seven (7) points in the last five minutes of the final game.
CALABARZON’s spot in the finals was the culmination of six (6) dominant wins and only one (1) defeat, in a turbulent season against seven (7) teams which participated in the Commissioner’s Cup, namely: Yamete, Dentmate, Tuteros, UniTeam, ITO, Ballers and GSA. CALABARZON with its consistency, agility, strategic plays and amazing raw talent became a crowd favorite bet very early on when the Commissioner’s Cup commenced.
COA IV-A’s Regional officers, Atty. Resurreccion C. Quieta and Assistant Regional Director Juniel D. Sadiasa, whose support for the team was seen all throughout the series, congratulated the whole team, “There is no “I” in TEAM, there is no “I” in CALABARZON, so the exemplary team work shown by CALABARZON was truly the key to its victory. We congratulate Team CALABARZON and thank them for the sportsmanship exhibited in all the Games,” was the official statement from the Office of the Regional Director.
It is also worth mentioning that Mark Joseph Dela Peña and King Romyl R. Pacis were given the COABA Mythical Five Award, it is the award given to the five outstanding players all throughout the basketball season.
When asked “what’s in store for the team after the series?” It seems that Team CALABARZON is gearing forward as COA will soon be participating in an Inter-Agency Basketball Championship.
Congratulations to all from you COA Region IV-A family. Hereunder is the list of the Champions, muse and coaches:
- John Arvin B. Atie
- Evander M. Arcenal
- Santiago Francisco V. Sagad III
- Alan O. Morales
- Ahmad Ali M. Diamel
- Gibson C. Buño
- Don Delvir A. Quieta
- Joseph Muriel A. Abendanio
- Jasper M. Sacdalan
- Edmar L. Corotan
- Isaac Dominic T. Macaranas
- Dexter John P. Villaflores
- Arnulfo P. Baculo
- Romer R. Abanica
- Mark Joseph Dela Peña
- Jonathan De Leon
- King Romyl R. Pacis
Pinky Mae Portugal
Atty. John Ferdinand V. Balgua
Raymond C. Villanueva
Dexter L. Clamor