VIX Legis caps Advocatus League Season 1 with the championship


By Frank Leo Aniscal - Kings of the Court PH

VIX Legis ruled the 2019 Season of the Advocatus Basketball League after conquering a tough battle against Sigma Rho Warriors in the finals, 75-64, held at The Upper Deck Lifestyle Center in Pasig City.

They started off on a strong note and delivered the same effort in the endgame as they always found answers to nullify the opposition's attacks until taking away the victory and officially be called as the champions. Jang Moreno proved that he deserved the Most Valuable Player title after giving an unwavering force to lead VIX Legis as he finished with 17 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals to add the Finals MVP award to his collections. "Coming into this game, my mindset was to trust my teammates. And in return, they trusted me too so I gave my best to contribute and win the championship," Moreno said.

Mythical team member Raniel Miranda was one rebound away from making a double-double performance as he dropped 12 points, while Darryll Matthew Santos and MJ Bayang provided huge help as well with 15 and 10 markers, respectively. Showing a collective effort on defense, VIX Legis starters pulled off a fiery start as they quickly took the momentum through a 12-2 run. And as the second unit entered, they kept the intensity and built a 12-point cushion at the end of the opening period, 22-10. VIX Legis continued the spurt as they stretched the lead to 18 points with only a few minutes burned in the second quarter, 30-12.

John Voltaire Almeda got his groove in the offense as he lifted Sigma Rho Warriors, but a late jumper by Moreno helped VIX Legis stay on top by double figures, 36-25. Staying aggressive in the offense, Almeda dropped eight straight points, including two triples, and Richard Carlos punctuated Sigma Rho Warriors' 11-2 rally as they came back to within one possession, 38-36. Unfortunately, their offense was suddenly disrupted by the defensive adjustments of VIX Legis as the latter answered back with their own 12-3 attack to regain a double digit lead, 50-39.

VIX Legis brought an eight-point advantage into the fourth period, 54-46. VIX Legis wasted no time at the beginning of the final canto as they rebuilt a 14-point margin in the 7:50 mark, 62-48. Keeping their efforts on defense and using the clock wisely on the other end, VIX Legis was able to hold the comfortable lead down to the final second and eventually won the Advocatus Basketball League title.

Almeda led all scorers with his 23-point performance, while Philip Miguel Ranada put up a double-double game after collecting 19 markers and 14 boards. Dion Africa added 10 points for Sigma Rho Warriors. "We also want to congratulate Sigma Rho Warriors. They really made it hard for us. Hindi kami nagulat sa kanila dahil they have a lot of talented players. It has been a great competitive finals game," Moreno concluded.


VIX Legis finished the season the same way they started it. Carrying a 5-1 elimination round record, the top seeded squad together with the second seed LEGALL.PH enjoyed an advanced seat in the semifinals. Finalists and 1st runner-up, Sigma Rho Warriors on the other hand, escaped past quarterfinalists Director's Club, before edging LEGALL.PH to punch a ticket to the finals.

DENR Lawyers Guild Inc., the lone team to beat the eventual champions, also had a tough yet eventful stint in the playoffs, beginning in the quarterfinals against IBP Rizal, where they salvaged a slim win to set up a date with VIX Legis. This time around in the knockout semis, the Jang Moreno-led squad avenged their early season loss and punched a ticket to the finals, where they would go all the way.

From eight competing teams to kick off season one, six teams marched on the very first playoffs stages of the league. Four teams survived and carried on to the war in the semifinals, but only two remained in the battle for the title. One team came out victorious, but in the end, everyone was a winner. In between the games and the tough competition, these warrior lawyers got to play the sport that they love, and were able to fulfill the mission of the league- to build camaraderie, satisfy their thirst for quality basketball, and above all- promote health and wellness as part of their work-life balance as licensed professionals.