Miguel La Torre
After failing to secure the crown last year, the College of Engineering and Information Technology have finally claimed the elusive championship in the Letramurals basketball tournament after escaping with a 67-63 victory against the College of Business Administration and Accountancy I, last October 23, at the Blessed Antonio Varona gymnasium.
Last season, CEIT dominated the elimination round, only to collapse in the finals; surrendering the chip to the Senior High School Pink Rams (now SHS I).
“Last year, ang problema namin is nag collapse kami sa championship mismo. Nag-iba ‘yung laro, nagkapaan bigla,” team captain Gleomel Dominise bared.
“Babawi kami. Ganun naman lagi eh kapag natalo, babawi kami as a team pa rin. ‘Yun ‘yung sinasabi ko sa kanila. Manalo o matalo, lalaruin namin as a team kasi nakarating kami sa championship as a team so kailangan ‘yung lalaruin naming, as a team,” he added.
This time, the team had it all figured out as Led Valeriano led the team with 17 points built on five three-pointers. Terrence Manalastas chipped in 13 points, six rebounds, and six blocked shots while Paul Alilio added 10 points, nine rebounds, and four steals in the championship match.
Meanwhile, MK Casas was the lone bright spot for CBAA I after leading all scorers with 25 points to go along with five boards and three steals.
CEIT’s do-it-all forward West Bautista was named as the tournament MVP after averaging 12.6 points and 8.4 rebounds while Alilio was named to the Mythical 5 along with Bautista.
Completing the Mythical team are Casas, and CBAA II’s Jed Ondis and Allie Marfori.
The men in blue dominated the Letramurals and posted a perfect 7-0 slate in the whole tournament.
Last year’s loss inspired the team to oversee what they have over different teams which is familiarity.
“Unang-una, ang tagal na naming magkakasama; ilang beses na kami natalo sa championship, dalawa na. So ‘yung mga players namin, kilalang-kilala na namin ang isa’t-isa,” said Dominise.
Moreover, the support of their College Dean and fellow CEIT students made their championship campaign possible.
”Syempre nandun ‘yung sa crowd. Grabe ‘yung suporta ng CEIT lalo na ‘yung Dean namin; siya ‘yung head talaga. Iba. Parang hindi ko nakita sa ibang colleges ‘yun so dagdag sa amin ‘yun na mananalo kami para sa kanila and sa amin,” he exclaimed.
Nevertheless, the fourth year Civil Engineering major credited his whole team, for their teamwork, and determination to step-up.
“Lahat ng ginawa namin, involved ang lahat. Kasi bawat isang player namin, key kaya nanalo kami. Makikita naman sa stats namin na walang isang player na siya lang ang gumagawa, merong umaangat pero makikita mo na lahat nagcocontribute. Perfect combination ‘yung team namin,” he said.