Story by Carlos Cinco
Video and Editing by Don Ismael
Still Photography by Regie Babagay
Reporting by BoiBoi Garcia
SERANGOON, Singapore – When Lyndon Gomez put together the Lynsanity, it was a band of misfits with no coherent direction on both ends of the basketball floor.
There was a star, for sure, but the lack of identity kept the team at the middle of the ranks. Even backbone Shooting Guard Lloyd Nogot’s stellar play couldn’t carry the team to more than a few wins.
To an extent, no one expected Lynsanity to make it to the FilTA Basketball Finals, much less clinch the first ever league championship.
That’s what makes this Cinderella story even more compelling.
Behind Nogot’s monstrous offensive display and the bruising inside game of Lyndon Gomez and Hart Tolentino, Lynsanity took control of the FilTA Basketball Finals, staved off a spirited run by their opponents the VHO Red Dragons, and captured the 2012 Filta title in a barn-burner that went down to the wire.
It was a game of heart that was won on the break and in the paint. Both the Red Dragons and Lynsanity had similar team structures which made for an epic battle of attrition.
There were lane patrollers Sonnie Tindan and Jerwin Cruz for the Red Dragons, going up against Gomez, Tolentino and Orville Alderite that made for an entertaining post matchup.
And then there was the battle of the frontcourt featuring Lloyd Nogot and Xtan Alvarez against an equally dangerous combination of Arphyll Maceda and Raffy Vidal.
The matchups were dead even on paper, and translated into a stalemate on the basketball court. The capacity crowd in attendance which included honorary guest NCS point man Affendy Bin Ramli were treated to an instant classic.
Early in the first quarter, Lynsanity jumped out to a startling 10-0 lead behind an unmistakable energy, which their opponents had difficulty matching. From then on the Red Dragons played second fiddle whilst trying to find their footing.
“We were down big in the early going, and it was hard to catch up. They had a big quarter.” said F/C Sonnie Tindan, who finished the game with 4 points on 2-4 shooting.
It wasn’t until the latter part of the first stanza that the Red Dragons were able to get their wits about them and close the gap. Led by Maceda, who tallied 4 in the first, the Red Dragons quickly stopped the bleeding and turned it into a ballgame.
The back and forth action continued on through the 4th quarter, featuring multiple lead changes and tied scores.
It wasn’t until the final minutes of the game that Lynsanity was able to pull away for the decisive win.
By then, the backcourt trio of Gomez, Tolentino and Alderite had the painted area on lockdown as Nogot started to take over the game.
In the end, the brutal consistency of Nogot’s perimeter dissection was too much to overcome for the Red Dragons, despite the big game from Maceda and Vidal who tried their very best to match Lynsanity shot for shot.
Maceda finised with 23 points in a losing effort.
“It was a game of heart, and Lynsanity showed a lot of heart. They deserved the win” said Maceda in a post-game interview.
“We had a great season, and we thank the players and all the fans for their support” said an exhausted commissioner Vidal, who tallied 22 pts.
Lloyd Nogot finished with 27 points and was named the 2012 FilTA Basketball Finals MVP and Team Lynsanity ran away with a close, 61-59 victory over the Red Dragons to claim the title.
Eugene “The Triggerman” Fuentes arrived at the arena late in the fourth quarter and didn’t suit up to play. Jerome Estrella and Xtan Alvarez had quiet games – Alvarez had 7 for the Red Dragons while Estrella failed to get on the board.
Ermie Caracas was a no-show. Caracas averaged 18.3ppg in the regular season and could have helped the Red Dragons on the offensive end. 3-point contest first runner up Jerwin Cruz struggled from the field, tallying just 3 points from behind the arc for a total of 9 on the night. The Red Dragons had limited contribution from Guards Rennel Sable and Chris Molas, and Forwards Skargard Gali Gebilaguin and Kirby Legaspi – all of which were not able to post numbers.