There's no turning back for Western Visayas cagers as the elementary and secondary boys' basketball teams face their counterpart from the National Capital Region today in the semifinal round of the 2012 Palarong Pambansa in Pangasinan.
Also eyeing a seat in the finals are the secondary girls basketball, volleyball, and softball squads, all registering separate victories in their respective events, yesterday.
Fortifying Region VI's bid to wrest the overall championship from the hands of the NCR is the elementary football team, whose players effectively turned back their rivals from Davao, 4-1, yesterday to advance t o the semifinals today against last year's champion Northern Mindanao region, at 3 p.m.
Western Visayas presently trails the NCR in the medal tally with 26 gold medals against the Big City's 45, but things can change in the overall standings should Region VI clinche final seats in the ballgames as the Department of Education adopts the point system instead of the number of gold medals in determining the overall champion.
Region VI asserted its dominance in athletics and arnis, while NCR remained as the undisputed royalty in swimming and gymnastics.
In clinching a semis berth yesterday, WVRAA's elementary basketball team mentored by Pewee Demonteverde triumphed over Central Visayas (Region VII), 61-52 at the Narciso Ramost Sports and Civic Center in Lingayen.
The nine-point lead in the final tally allowed the boys some breathing room in the final minutes, unlike the high school boys squad of coach Dennis Tumayan, who squeaked past Eastern Visayas , 60-56.
It was a thrilling match in the high school basketball competition as Region VI lost a couple of its key players with still three minutes left in the game.
Holding on to a one-point lead at 57-56 with still a minute left in the game, Western Visayas managed to convert a shot in transition then converted a free throw in the dying seconds to secure the win.
Meanwhile, it was another blowout victory for the secondary basketball girls' team as they stamped their class against Northern Mindanao , 80-58. The team will face CARAGA at 7 a.m. today.
In secondary girls' volleyball, the Malot Lozada-mentored squad had another two straight set win, this time against Davao , 25-20; 25-14, and will face Northern Mindanao at 7:30 a.m. today in the semifinals, with the winner facing the victor in the other semis match between Central Visayas and NCR.*NAB
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