The Xavier Ultimate Faculty Team made history last September 2, 2016 by bagging a convincing 12-5 win over Maynilad in the finals of the first-ever Ultimate Corporate League organized by JMJ Sports held at the Acacia Estates Field in Taguig City.
Leading the team was playing coach, Jamael Pangandaman who believed that, “the primary strength of the team is the chemistry. Everyone knows his or her role and adapts to the roles and capabilities of the other members. We were able to cover the weaknesses of the other members by bridging the gaps and holes because we knew exactly what to do and not to do during games.” Incidentally, Pangandaman was also recognized as the finals Most Valuable Player during the awarding ceremonies.
The road to the finals was a challenging one for Xavier as it opened the league with a 1-1 record, losing to Smart (5-7) in its first game and winning against PLDT (9-3) last August 17.
The second week was not too impressive either as Xavier snatched a win over Proctor and Gamble (6-5), only to succumb to a disappointing 12-2 loss to Ayala. With a 2-2 record, Xavier was tied at 4th with Meralco.
Last August 31, Xavier lost two straight games as it headed to the pre-semis. The teachers from San Juan failed to scoop a win against Meralco (6-7) in a very close match. Luck did not seem to be on Xavier’s side as it lost again to Maynilad (5-9) at the close of the eliminations.
Things turned out for the better, however, during the pre-semis on the same evening, when Xavier once again faced Meralco. In an intense game of disc, the teachers did not give up until the last second of the game, ending the evening with a 9-5 victory over opponent. This victory proved crucial as it placed Xavier in 4th as they entered the semis.
On the last day of the league, Xavier had to face unbeaten and top seed Ayala in the semis. Coming from a discouraging loss to the much experienced Ayala team during the eliminations and missing the services of some its players that evening, Xavier had to step up and push themselves to make it to the finals. Coach Jamael encouraged the members of the team to play their best as if it were the finals already and the end result was Xavier crushing Ayala with a 10-5 win as the clock died down.
The championship game between Xavier and Maynilad commenced right after the semis match. The pace seemed slow at first and players from both teams had to labor for each point. Xavier was unsuccessful in getting the first point, but it bounced back with two consecutive points even if it meant arduous defense schemes and vigorous offensive attacks. Maynilad earned a point for themselves and Xavier got another one. It seemed like an exchange of points but as the game progressed, Xavier started to pull away and eventually bagged the crown with a 12-5 triumph!
“I think the most important factor was the mental conditioning of the team. We know we were not the strongest team so there was no pressure to win. The only pressure I put in everyone’s mind is to do their best every time they step inside the playing field,” was all the playing coach could say.
As the great Michael Jordan once said, “Talent wins games but team work and intelligence wins championships.”
Luceat Lux, ‘chers!
Here are the players in the corporate league:
Team Captain: Jade Bata
Playing Coach: Jamael Pangandaman
Franco Nicolo Addun
Jessica Ann Addun
Ray Fercival Albarillo
Amber Glenn Bautista
Kristine Carla Bernardino
John Kerwin Galarpe
John Carlo Gloria
Jose Gabriel Hofileña
Alyssa Griselda Joven
Dianne Erika Lo
Jan Paolo Martinez
Juan Carlo Preza
Synjin Sergio Reyes
Darryl Francis Sandoval
Maria Jiana Tan
Albert Eli Yatco
Exxon Ryan Yu