As the La Salle Greenhills Greenies enjoyed their campaign in the recent 2018 SM National Basketball Training Center National Championships, thoughts of their tough campaign in season 93 National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) junior basketball wars came to mind.
03 Aug. 2017,
Letran gym, Intramuros
(LSGH cager Albert Bordeos in action).
Their journey to the finals started taking a shaky turn when the Greenies posted their fifth straight win at the expense of the Letran Squires, 64-63.
Playing at the home court of the Squires at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran gym in Intramuros, the LSGH were given a difficult time on Aug. 3, 2017.
First, it was the Squires’ homecourt advantage and the fans.
(Albert Bordeos waits for an opportunity to go for a steal).
And then it was coach Marvin Bienvenida’s decision to rely on new guys like Albert Bordeos at endgame.
And as the Greenies reached the finals and lost to the Nazareth School National University Bullpups in the fight for the Division 1 title, that particular game with the Squires come to mind.
It was one of Albert’s best games in the few games that he played for the Greenies that season.
(LSGH cager Joel Cagulangan goes against Letran’s Keith Peralta(5) and Keifer Cordero(7)).
The 12th grade point guard made 14 points behind Jacob Lao, who had 12 points.
This made Bordeos the third best player of the team, and that’s after he had a five game average of 12.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists.
At that time, Joel Cagulangan and Inand Fornilos had emerged as the team’s most consistent players.
(LSGH coach Marvin Bienvenida)
The Squires were leading until the last 5:42 of the game when Neil Tolentino connected, 59-56.
Then, the Greenies attacked with Bordeos’ penetration, followed by Jacob Lao’s drivng layup and Bordeos’ split sent the Greenies back up in the lead, 62-59.
The Squires had a chance to force a tie, but Neil Guarino’s triple did not find its mark.
(Letran’s Kiefer Cordero).
Then, Fornilos’ putback with 3:01 to go gave the Greenies a 64-59 spread.
With time on their side, the Squires continued pressuring.
They managed to score twice off attacks from Guarino and Kiefer Cordero, and Letran came close for the last time, 63-64, in the last 56 seconds.
It became scary for the Greenies in the remaning time after Bordeos turned the ball over, and then bungled two freebies in the last 17 seconds.
The Squires kept the ball in their possession and had winning chances until Laksman Ganapathy committed a passing error in the last nine seconds.
But they still managed to keep possession in the last four seconds after Bordeos to another turnover.
Luck was LSGH’s side in the final second when Neil Tolentino missed a long range attempt.
“Nawala ako sa rhythm. Nadala ako sa crowd,” said Bordeos in recalling the Greenies’ scary moments.
Coach Marvin said they were just lucky in this game.
“We just got lucky. We just got lucky. Prior to that, we placed ourselves in that situation, that we just had to bank on one point. We had opportunities of securing and putting the lead some more with free throws,” said Bienvenida.