Re­union of ‘97 XUHS pow­er­house

City High Tigers nail 1st South District ti­tle

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page - By ROSE NACALABAN CABAHUG Con­trib­u­tor

The XUHS-ABA hoopfest in Ca­gayan de Oro is mid­way through the elim­i­na­tions, and the com­pe­ti­tion con­tin­ues to heat up among the high school batches of Xavier Univer­sity.

Launched 8 sea­sons ago, XUHS-ABA has been known to bring back lo­cal hoop he­roes, who are out of the city and even the coun­try to come home and play for their re­spec­tive XUHS batches.

Last Fri­day, Sept. 8, exPBA player Nel­bert “Bi­toy” Omolon has once again graced the tour­ney and tal­lied 23 points to se­cure an ex­cit­ing 71-65 win for Gamba 1997 against Batch 2005. This is only his sec­ond ap­pear­ance in ABA since 2012.

Omolon joined PBA in 2004 as a first round draft pick of Sta. Lu­cia Re­al­ity, 8th over­all. He also played for Air 21 Ex­press, Mer­alco Bolts and suited up for San Miguel Beer to win 3 more cham­pi­onships be­fore hang­ing his jersey in 2016 to fo­cus on his Agribusi­ness in Cota­bato.

But among his best play­ing mem­o­ries was wear­ing jersey #12 for XUHS Var­sity Team to­gether with An­drew Neri and Niku Valles who also came home, a few weeks ago, to help Gamba 97 racked up six wins in a row af­ter start­ing the sea­son with four-straight losses.

The Gamba boys have shown strong chances of mak­ing it to the play­offs with Omolon around.

“Most prob­a­bly, kung naa chance, mudula ko,” says Bi­toy as friends fondly call him. “But more than win­ning, play­ing side by side with my former team­mates, class­mates and batch mates... noth­ing com­pared,” he adds.

It can be re­mem­bered that ‘97 is among XUHS’ strong­est teams once locked in sto­ried ri­valry with the Cor­pus Christi Knights.

Com­plet­ing XUHS ‘97 Bas­ket­ball Var­sity team are Nel­bert Omolon, An­drew Neri, Niku Valles, JayArr Estrada, Cliff Te­so­can, Jim Vin­cent Lim, Virg Niño Cabahug, Dave Ibao, Kane Aced­era, Ryan Buiser, Sonny Lag­dameo, Earl La­pus, Rufu Niño Lasala, Christian No­ble, John Mon­tal­ban, Fran­cois Galo, Jun Calellero, Michael Daming, Zyril Chiva and Ryan Abo­len­cia.

SUP­PLIED PHOTO

GAMBA BOYS. From left to right: Omolon, Lim, Galo, Aced­era, Cabahug and Valles.

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