Cagers of PECMNHS and Ormoc CNHS duke it out in the 2020 NBTC Regional Finals at the Calbayog City Sports Center.

The hoops team of Pedro E. Candido Memorial National High School (PECMNHS) failed in its bid to win the title of the 2020 National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) League Regional Finals by bowing to Ormoc City National High School in a thrilling championship tussle, 81-78, at the Calbayog City Sports Center over the weekend.

     PECMNHS squandered a 15-point bubble in the early part of the match and allowed the Ormocanons to take the drivers seat after the third period.  The OCNHS squad took a 68-61 advantage entering the final quarter.

     The Hernani, E. Samar-based ballclub made a searing comeback in the last six minutes of the duel, managing to close the gap to a single point with less than two minutes remaining. However, the breaks of the game went against the Eastern Samarenos when they bungled some follow-ups as well as free throws, allowing their foes to escape with the narrow victory.

     Head of delegation and trainer Wilmar Candido said that his boys did their best and they should be proud of what they had achieved in the tourney. He added that what happened should serve as a lesson for them for future competitions. Head coach Jeffrey Calvadores and deputy mentor Arlan Baduria called the shots from the bench for PECMNHS which was supported by Xur Homes in their participation in the tournament.

     PECMNHS was trying to duplicate the feat of Dolores National High School (also from Eastern Samar) that won the regional crown last year and represented Region 8 in the National Finals.

     With the victory, the Ormocanons will carry the flag for Eastern Visayas in the NBTC Nationals slated later this month in Manila, where they will tangle with the best high school cage units in the country and six foreign entries.

     Ormoc and PECMNHS topped their respective groups to arrange their final encounter. The eventual champs downed Calbiga NHS and Samar National School, while the Eastern Samarenos defeated Oquendo NHS and Calbayog City NHS in the preliminary round, respectively.

     The NBTC League is one of the top-tiers competitions for secondary student-cagers in the country. It is a platform for these young basketeers to show their wares and have the opportunity to be discovered and recruited by prestigious schools and universities. #