Lady Althea Castro
Region VII

DAVAO CITY – The Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (CVIRAA) Fighters displayed on-court poise to decimate the Zamboanga Sharks, 60-32, on the first day of the 2019 Palarong Pambansa elementary basketball match at the Holy Cross of Davao Gym on Monday.

The Region 7 hoopers capitalized on their stifling defense with a team-record of 19 steals. Dylan Lim paced his squad with 9 points as Kent Castro and Benedict Paja chipped in 8 markers apiece.

“We only had two weeks of training but the team was able to adapt to our system and I also encourage them to trust each other,” the soft-spoken mentor Ronald Bucao shared during the post-game interview.

Team Region 7 dictated the tempo early on and the boys never looked back. Their 19-6 cushion heading into the second frame provided enough momentum to take the contest away from Region 9.

EYES ON THE PRIZE. Central Visayas’ Kenneth Cole looked composed as he made two bonus shots during the CVIRAA’s conquest of Region IX. Photo by Rethey Jane Lapis

Meanwhile, Alshareedz Ando towed Zamboanga Peninsula with 8 points of his own in the losing effort. He led the team’s fight back attempt and they were within 18 points, the closest they have been. They trailed 20-41 after three quarters.

“We talked about avoiding turnovers and foul trouble as much as possible but we weren’t able to do it all today. We should do better defending without fouling moving forward,” coach Bucao added.

In the final 10 minutes of play, the Cebuanos simply held on to their comfortable lead. Their defense never faltered and luckily for them, time was on their side.

The CVIRAA Fighters look to replicate their winning start when they take on the BRAA and the R1AA for their next assignment.