THE National Capital Region secondary boys 3x3 basketball team became one of the unlikeliest champion in the recently-concluded Palarong Pambansa in Ilocos Sur.
The NCR squad out of Mandaluyong captured the 3x3 crown last weekend at the President Elpidio Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur after a thrilling victory over host Region 1, 21-19.
But what makes the feat special, according to coach Rolly Rosero, was that the team from Isaac Lopez Integrated School was only informed about competing in the Palaro on April 10, just five days after the formal opening of the games.
“Tinawagan po kami ng DepEd sa Mandaluyong, sabi kami na raw ang magrerepresent ng NCR,” said Rosero, whose team took over after NCR champ Manila backed out.
Almost immediately, Rosero said the team travelled to Ilocos Sur for Palaro. The team also stayed at Sinait National High School, about an hour away from Vigan, where they trained for the 3x3 tournament immediately being a late replacement.
It is for that reason that Rosero said the 3x3 title was so sweet for the team composed of Jayson Arceo, Jherald Castaneda, Joshua Dela Vega, and Lhoriel Flores, who nailed the two-pointer that sealed the win.
Rosero said they never imagined winning it all as they played against seasoned players from different regions.
“Napaka-overwhelming po. Sobrang saya kasi ‘yung journey namin magmula ng district, dinala kami ni Lord dito. Hindi namin akalain na makakapasok kam dito kahit anong position. Gusto lang namin makapaglaro. Isang karangalan para sa Mandaluyong at sa NCR,” said Rosero.
Rosero said the victory only proved that anything can happen in 3x3.
“Kailangan talaga dito, bilis. Kahit malalaki mga players mo, naka-focus talaga dapat sa game. Dapat mabilis at masipag ka,” said Rosero.