Cagebelles crowned as champions of NCRAA
In the comeback of the year, the Patriot cagebelles scored the ultimate championship victory in this year’s National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) tournament with a 71-63 triumph at the expense of their rival, the Emilio Aguinaldo College – Cavite (EAC-C)Lady Vanguards, on April 13 at Saint Joseph Gym, Pasig Catholic College, Pasig City.
Patriot Diane Reyes stood tallest in the match as she was hailed as this season’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) and grabbed a spot in the Mythical Five, chipping in 22 points. Also included in the roll is Patriot Mariel Campasa with 12 points despite heading out of the game in the opening minutes of the third quarter due to an ankle sprain.
It was a major upgrade from their fifth place spot last year in the formerly named National Capital Region Athletic Association Universities and Colleges of Luzon Athletic Association (NCRUCLAA).
On another road to victory in their Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) – Nationals streak, the Patriot Cagebelles are currently bannering the Region IV-A flag at Tagbilaran, Bohol to preserve their six-peat champion streak.
Starting from the first quarter, DLSU-D acquired the lead against EAC-C, 19-10. The Lady Vanguards tried to catch up with the Cagebelles’ pace with Jade Valenzuela’s five straight points, 25-24, but the Cagebelles cut them easily and closed the second quarter with a 37-32 advantage.
DLSU-D’s momentum paused as Patriot Cagebelle Campasa suffered a sprain in her ankle in the opening minutes of the third canto.
“I felt bad para sa kanya(Campasa) dahil siya ‘yong hardest working na player ko tsaka parang ever since no’ng eliminations, siya ‘yong pinaka-consistent. Hindi niya deserve na hindi makapaglaro sa finals kaya sobrang panghihinayang ko … Sinabi ko sa players na mag-step up [para pamalit] doonsa position nanabakanteni Mariel,” DLSU-D head coach Tito Reyes shared on his sentiments about Campasa’s injury. Facing the unpleasant accident with their coach’s advice, the Cagebelles stepped up and beat the Lady Vanguards with Reyes, Agatha Azarcon, and Claudine Fiel’s joint forces in the third quarter.
Lady Vanguards barely stood a chance in the last round but still fought using Valenzuela’s consequent triples, 56-48. The Cagebelles totally knocked them out as Azarcon and Reyes tied up and sealed the scores, ending the championship battle with an 8-point lead, 71-63.
After battling numerous Cavite-based and CALABARZON-wide universities, DLSU-D Women’s Basketball Team recruited Shennen Mae Dorio, Anna Joy Villeza, Ma. Patricia Bautista, and Ross Lee Eustaquio from University of Perpetual Help JONELTA (UPHSJ) — GMA, Chloewin Coroza from University of Perpetual Help DALTA (UPHSD) — Molino, and Rizal-based Anna Kristel Escotido and Ma. Katrina Servillion to compete in the Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) – Nationals at Bohol from April 23 to 28.
Coach Tito said that were a lot of changes due to the six recruits together with their major adjustment in conditioning the new players. “So far, okay naman kasi everyday [kami] nagpa-practice tsaka maganda ‘yong nagiging adjustment ng mga bago (recruits),” Coach Tito assured.
When asked about Campasa’s status, Coach Tito answered, “Ine-expect namin na makakalaro [si Mariel] kasi although parang grabe ‘yong pagka-sprain ng ankle niya…ginagawa niya naman lahat (for a fast recovery).”
As of press time, Campasa and the cagebelles are in Bohol for a shot to add another victory to their current six-peat legacy at the PRISAA – Nationals.