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Marikina rules Ballout cagefest

The Marikina Shoelanders celebrate after winning Ballout Season 2.
By Dugout Philippines

MARIKINA--There’s no stopping Marikina from ruling the Ballout Sports Season 2.

The Shoelanders made the local folks proud here at the Marikina Sports Center after outplaying Xentro Mall Rizal, 84-73.

Marikina’s onslaught was spearheaded by Jason Opiso, a veteran of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

The 6-foot-4 forward pumped in 23 points and 15 rebounds to lead the way for Marikina, which is using this tournament as a fitting preparation for the coming MPBL season which begins on March 10.

Opiso got plenty of support from local hero Felipe Chavez, the exciting, spitfire guard who ended up with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block.

Two other players wound up in double figures for the Shoelanders – Kyle Tolentino (11) and Deo Timajo (10).

Marikina was the best team, but the most outstanding individual chosen was James Martinez, a former PBA player, who was picked hands down as the Best Player of the Conference. The do-it-all guard ended the tournament with a triple-double average of 24.5 points, 10.4 assists and 10.2 rebounds per game while playing for AMA University.  

Ballout Sports Season 2, which is headed by legendary coach Joe Lipa as commissioner, chief executive officer Cris Bautista and former Barangay Ginebra player Ronald Magtulis as head of basketball operations, also staged an exhibition game pitting the cage legends going up against the executives of Cocogen reinforced by some of the best players in the league.

Lipa is not just known as a legendary coach, but was also regarded for the development of some of the all-time greatest players in Philippine basketball, some of them were reunited with their long-time mentors, among them were former MVP and now Hall of Famer Allan Caidic, and fellow greats Jerry Codinera and Marlou Aquino.

Caidic and Codinera played for Lipa during the 1986 Asian Games when the Philippines finished with a bronze medal.

Codinera was also a part of Lipa’s gold medal winning team in the 1987 Southeast Asian Games while Aquino was coached by the multi-titled mentor during the 1995 SEA Games where the Philippines also won the gold.

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