Mustangs bag two titles in pre-season of OCCCI D-League tourney
ORMOC CITY, Leyte — The Western Leyte College (WLC) Mustangs finished the pre-season tournament of the OCCCI D-League basketball tournament with two titles in hand at the Ormoc Superdome on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023.
The Mustangs topped the college and high school divisions in the tournament which is a precursor of Region 8’s biggest inter-school basketball tournament, the OCCCI D-League Basketball Tournament, which will have its regular season’s first leg in Jaro, Leyte from Feb. 9 to 12.
The Mustangs put on a stunning performance in the college division despite being undermanned with only eight players in the do-or-die championship match against the Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU) Ormoc City Campus, 89-50.
On the other hand, WLC’s high school team narrowly defeated the Holy Cross College of Carigara Crusaders, 66-60, in the do-or-die championship match, also on Sunday at the same venue.
“Ang importante lang namo, bisan nawala among usa ka player nga mopuntos, kay among gimaintain among depensa. Bread and butter gyud namo among depensa,” said the Mustangs’ head coach Janus Asis.
(What is important to us, even if we do not have one of our players, who scores, is that we maintain our defense. Our defense is our bread and butter.)
The Mustangs fielded in only nine players in the championship match against EVSU. Worse, their star player, ex-UST Growling Tiger, Kobe Palencia was ejected in the first quarter after a scuffle against a player from EVSU who was also ejected from the game.
Nonetheless, the undermanned Mustangs went out with guns blazing, leading by as much as 39 points, 85-46, in the final period en route to sealing the lopsided victory.
“Blessing in disguise pud nga naningkamot pud ang nahabilin nga walo. Bisan kulang mi, pero ang heart to win the championship naa gihapon,” said Asis who also coached the Mustangs’ high school team.
(It is also a blessing in disguise for us because the eight who were left worked harder. Even if we lacked players, but our heart to win the championship, it is still there.)
For assistant coach Ian Velasquez, their superb defense, was their key to beating the complete roster of EVSU in lopsided fashion.
“So far, sa amo gud, ang among intensity sa duwa, mas triple pa sa practice. Sa amo diri, kung unsa mi ka serious sa practice, mao sad sa duwa. Mao na among mantra sa Mustangs,” Velasquez said.
(So far, for us, our intensity in the game is already tripled in practice. For us here, how serious we were in our practice, that is also what we do in the game. That is the mantra of the Mustangs.)
“Mao na ganina, bisan eight players ra mi, kahibawo mi, bisan moabot og overtime, kaya ra namo. Confident ra mi sa among mga players,” he said.
(So that is why earlier, even if we only have eight players, we know, even if it will reach overtime, we can handle it. We are confident in our players.)
Magis Eagles sweeps exhibition games
Meanwhile, the visiting Sacred Heart School Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles swept their two scheduled exhibition matches against OCCCI’s all-star college and high school selections over the weekend.
They defeated the college all-star selection, 94-89, and went on demolishing the high school all-star selection, 83-62.
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