Dukhan Ballers wins PIBAQ Subaru Cup Championship[
The heroics of 16-year-old CJ Casas of Dukhan Ballers proved to be the shining moment for them to earn the championship crown as they beat KIA Motors by a hairline, 83-81, in the Division-B of Subaru Cup 2012 of Pinoy Basketball Qatar (PIBAQ) at the Al Gharafa Training Gym.
Casas, a senior high school student of Dukhan English School who is the only Filipino & Star Player by the Al Gharafa Club basketball youth team, proved to be too much for KIA Motors that he was unstoppable and help pushed his team mates eked out a scary victory in the dying minutes.
His supremacy in the hard court especially during the best-of-three championship series earned him anew the Finals Most Valuable Player, the second time in a row in successive seasons of PIBAQ.
Dukhan Ballers coach Joel Sta. Maria also shared the limelight when he was picked as the Best Coach of the season.
KIA Motors however did not bow down without a good fight when they suddenly changed the game complexion in the third period and even took a five-point edge after applying a three-man full court defense against Casas who at times slipped the ball in his hands and committed a turn over.
It was all that KIA Motors can do since CJ Casas again fuelled his teammates to regain the momentum in the last quarter but not long after the remaining few minutes.
With 12 seconds to go, an inbound possession by Edgar Malinao of KIA towards a drop pass to Aries Jose proved to be the big factor when the latter failed to convert his perimeter jumper.
Vin Sotto collected a foul after getting a pass from Erminio Bigkas who took the rebound from the missed shot by Jose but the former only converted one of two free throws to claim a two-point edge as the final buzzer rang.
Coach Sta. Maria could not help but carried away by the wild cheers of the ecstatic fans after the game was over.
PIBAQ officials thanked major sponsors Subaru Cars, Mannai Trading Company, Al Mana Restaurants and Food Company (operator of McDonald’s Qatar) and August Tailoring for the successful holding of the exciting season.