Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Road to Championship (part 6)

NY Noks Elimates 2nd Seeded Bearwolves, Gains Playoff Spot
The Ateneo college covered courts was abuzz with celebration as the NY Noks defeated the Bearwolves, 27-26, earning them a spot in the upcoming Senior's C playoffs.NY Noks easily gained the upperhand in the first quarter of play with starting point guard Miko Sabado making the crucial defensive plays, and dishing out several assists to his team mates. Relying on their fastbreak game and their outside shooting the CTC based Noks zoomed to a 12-4 lead.The Bearwolves was able to slowly crawl back into the game during the second quarter outscoring the Noks, 10-2, to tie the ball game at 14 a piece at the end of the half.It was only in the third quarter that the Noks were able to regain their scoring touch, however the Bearwolves proved to be a determined opponent. Switching to a 3-2 defense instead of their usual 2-3 formation, the Bearwolves forced the Noks to commit a lot of turnovers and convert these mistakes into points. The Bearwolves could have done more damage if not for the shot-blocking skills of Noks star forward and MVP candidate Rod Coronel. The third quarter ended with a 22-18 score in favor of Bearwolves.With star shooting guard JP Pangilinan being shackled by the relentless defense of Bearwolves, the Noks coaching staff decided to field Roy Rollan at the start of the fourth period. As the time was winding down and the Bearwolves leading the game at score of 24-20, the coaching staff agreed on letting Roy take the crucial shots, scoring 4 of the team's next 5 points.With less than a minute to go in the game and the Bearwolves still leading by a point at 26-25, Miko Sabado decided to run a play for Rod Coronel. After receiving the ball inside the shaded lane, Rod was able to find Roy alone in the corner for a 20-footer that proved to be the game winner. The Bearwolves had a chance for a final shot but the ball was stolen by Jopoy Pandarawan.With the win, the Noks are now secured of being the third seed for the upcoming IAC playoffs. The win was made even more dramatic by the fact that this is the first trip by the NY Noks to the playoffs, who dropped the Choopuppies franchise name after being eliminated the past two seasons with a 0-7 win-loss card.


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