MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines was in the right pace and right track to break the world record at least in Day One of the Philippine Basketball Marathon which fired off at the Meralco Gym yesterday morning.
Through seven hours and 30 minutes, Team Bounce Back of coach Louie Gonzales was the dominant team, leading the Johnedel Cardel-mentored Team Walang Iwanan, 903-870.
And most important of all, not a single player has shown signs of exhaustion in the event expected to last at least five days to erase the world record of 112 hours and 13 seconds the Missouri Athletic Club set in St. Louis, Missouri on March 21 to 25, 2012.
“As planned and so far, our players followed drawn up game plan – right pacing, perfectly timed substitution,” said Jacque Ruby, chief operating officer of the organizing Asian Cable Enterprises Inc. (ACCESS).
“True test is yet to happen though – the graveyard shift when crowd is gone and when there are no more press to cover the event. Still, we are on track to top time and score records.
“The players are determined to beat the record. They’re saying we’re okay. We’re not getting tired except the muscles are starting to stiffen,” said team manager Bradd Evangelista.
Through yesterday afternoon, the coaches were shifting six players every two hours.
“They eat and refresh during their break. By early Tuesday, the shifting will be extended to four hours. Playing time gets longer, but the rest also gets longer,” Evangelista explained.
Families and friends of the players were among the crowd at the Meralco Gym yesterday.
Ruby, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas executive director Sonny Barrios and Gawad Kalinga’s Jose Mari Oquinena did the honors of tossing the ceremonial ball at 9 a.m.
Adin Rome Santos, JR Quita, Clark Bear, Helino Francisco and Carlo Vasquez formed Bounce Back’s starting five while Harold Lomtong, Luis Bolante, Sandy Cenal, Paul dela Peña and Robbie Macatbag started out for Team Walang Iwanan.
The standouts at least in Day One were Santos, 21, and Lomtong, 20, both student of Rizal Technological University.
The others in the cast are Maricar Convencido, Larry Macapanpan, Owen Mabaga Santos Tominio, Evan Lazana, Hazel Foja, John Ray Mappala, Abraham Compuesto III, Kerr Bangeles, Renell Montecillo, Jopet Quiro and Americans Chuck Williams, Jeffery Moore and Tony Tatar.