By Nathaniel Gan (Class 2022) and Hanna Ho (Class 2022)
Last October 18, 2019, the Bakbakan basketball match between CM and CAS finally pushed through. It is said that a win, no matter how ugly or difficult, is still a win, and the CM-CAS game from Friday night highlighted this. It was a low-scoring affair, as both teams came out with tough defense, and neither would let the other get comfortable. In such a grind-it-out game, both teams were tested all night, and fittingly, the game came down to big plays and the final possessions.
After CM scored the first 6 points, CAS played a swarming full court pressure defense which seemed to rattle CM, and allowed them to take control for much of the first half. A switch to a man to man defense helped CM force missed shots and turnovers, which led to them regaining a 1 point lead by halftime.
In the 3rd quarter, CAS started heating up from outside, and combined with a frigid night from the field for CM as well as more solid defense leading to transition baskets, CAS won the 3rd quarter and took a 1 point lead heading into the 4th.
The offensive execution of CM to start the 4th allotted them several quality looks; however, they failed to capitalize and CAS was able to build a 5 point lead. CM then turned to their battle-tested defense and tireless effort on the boards to overcome the rough shooting and pull even in the last 4 minutes. From then on, strong drives by JC Tesorero earned CM trips to the foul line where they built a 4 point advantage. The final minutes were a defensive struggle as neither team could shake the other. CAS trimmed the lead to 1, and after a pair of missed free throws from CM, CAS came down with a chance to win the game. However, stout rim protection from CM forced a tough driving shot which rimmed out. Martin Dizon came up with the critical defensive board, drew a foul, and converted one of his charities. Following a timeout, CAS had one last chance to win the game, but a botched inbounds pass led to a turnover, thus sealing a tough, hard-fought win, a final score of 40-38, for CM.