There’s something different about how Unique Naboa moves on the court.
His movements are flashy and shifty. That’s what makes it stand out.
This is what ABS-CBN Sports online scribe Norman Lee Benjamin Riego observed in Unique’s game.
(Unique Naboa (right) in a rebound battle with Perpetual Help’s Jielo Razon).
Normie has been in the sports beat for two years.
Another LSGH player, Joel Cagulangan, moves much simpler, more efficiently (?) than Naboa, according to Normie.
So, one afternoon, I saw him play for the first time last month.
(The LSGH Junior Blazers performing the school anthem after the game).
This was when I dropped by to watch a game of the 92nd National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) junior basketball wars at the FilOil-Flying V Sports Center at the Arena in San Juan.
That was on Aug. 15, Monday, when Naboa joined Troy Mallinlin in scoring in double digits to contribute big time to the Greenies’ cause.
One of his big games came when they trounced the University of Perpetual Help Junior Altas, 95-80.
(Joel Cagulangan tries to shoot a basket past Perpetual Help’s Jielo Razon (18) and Errol Bongay (right). Troy Mallinlin (14) screens Jasper Cuevas (12) and Nick Rocero (10)).
On that day, the 16-year old Naboa tallied 23 points, and backed up Mallinlin, who led with 24 points, 15 rebounds.
The Greenies, also known as the Junior Blazers, posted win no. 4 in their famed nine-game winning streak.
Actually, this was the second time that the 5’11 Naboa showed up to play for the Junior Blazers.
(Joshua Marcos (with ball) is sandwiched by UPHSD’s Justine Disquitado and Nick Rocero(10), while LSGH’s Troy Mallinlin prepares to assist).
The first time he appeared was when the Junior Blazers turned back the Arellano University Braves on Aug. 8 with a 98-69 win.
Naboa came up with 20 points and seven boards back then.
“He did not play for a long time. So, he’s catching up,” said LSGH coach Marvin Bienvenida.
(Jacob Lao (11) dribbles away from Perpetual Help’s Rob Mendoza (4)).
Before the day ended, the defending champion San Beda Red Cubs, the Arellano University Braves and the Mapua Red Robins came off with expected triumphs to stay on track for Final Four slots.
Second stringer Luke Sese got his turn to shine with 19 points and lead three other mainstays in leading the Red Cubs in whipping the San Sebastian Staglets, 111-55.
Guilmer de la Torre, Aaron Fermin and Lars Sunga took turns in scoring big baskets, and powered the Braves to a 90-64 quashing of the Emilio Aguinaldo College-ICA Brigadiers.
(Joel Cagulangan (12) of LSGH drives past Perpetual Help’s Jielo Razon(18)).
The Red Cubs and the Braves pulled off their ninth triumph in 10 games, and this allowed them to stay in contention for the top two seats in the semis.
The Red Robins survived a close call with the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers, 81-79, and they went on to claim their eight win in 10 games.
McLaude Guadana had 19 points for the Lyceum Junior Pirates in their 105-91 smashing of the Letran Squires. The Junior Pirates improved in fifth at 5-5.
( Jacob Lao shoots a charity while Perpetual Help’s Esvin Inliwan looks on on).
- Play by play
Naboa missed four games in the first round because he had to catch up with made his studies and his grades.
He made his presence felt while LSGH was racing to overtake the Junior Altas in the start of the first period.
Catching attention with the way he weaving and pivots his way past defenders, Naboa’s drive witth 9:14 left tied match, 2-all.
After Joshua Marcos put the Greenies ahead, 6-4, Naboa’s putback and three-point play in the last 6:02 pushed LSGH ahead, 11-4.
His three-point shot in the final 4:11 then handed a LSGH an 11-6 advantage.
It was actually a string of two triples, and the second one found its mark in the last 3:18.
This allowed LSGH to dominated by 15, 24-9, and it’s still early in the game
“Ginawa ko ang dapat gawin. Kailangang maging aggressive sa kanila, really aggressive. We have to keep up,” said Unique at the dugouts.
In the third period, it was Troy Mallinlin’s show.
His two triple sent LSGH to a 63-42 edge in the last 6:14.
When the game the game was over Naboa emerged as the second most productive player of the LSGH roster with his averages15.8 points.
Mallinlin is their top gunner with 21.8 points and 8.3 rebounds.
Joel Cagulangan and Vincent Joshua David is also listed in the top 5.
(Notes: The Mapua Red Robins, also known as the Malayan Science High School Red Robins, turned to transferee Brian Lacap in pulling off a 75-59 swamping of La Salle Greenhills last Monday, Sept 19, at the Arena in San Juan.Lacap, who moved from University of Santo Tomas, stepped up in the absence of injured big man Sherwin Concepcion, sizzled with his triples in the third period to carry the Red Robins to their 14th win in 17 games.This moved the Red Robins a win closer to formally securing the second Final Four slot, the no. 2 seeding and the second twice-to-beat incentive. The Junior Blazers, with Troy Mallillin making 16 points and nine rebounds, share the same 13-5, slate with the Arellano Braves in third. They took charge early, and after unleashing a 13-2 run which Joel Cagulangan capped with his drive in the last five minutes of the first period).