Gov. Oscar Moreno
After losing to Taguig Batang Global in last year’s semifinals in the inaugural Liga Pilipinas Conference I, the Misamis Oriental Meteors buckled down to work in reinforcing its lineup.
First they retained playmaker Ramil Tagupa, slam dunk artist Jerome Paterno, speedster Mark Moreño, hi-flying guard Rocky Sanchez and hard-nosed defender Jerome Numeran.
Gone are Dennis Concha, Frank Nailon, Patrick Cabahug, Alano Caputolan, Eric dela Cuesta, and Mark Apepe.
The revamp began when they got Pagadian Explorers’ frontline in Mark Yee, Mark Kong and Erian Daja. Then they took in Misamis Oriental native Jeff Bombeo from Taguig. They signed up bull-strong Mel Latoreno, a member of the 4-peat UST squad in the UAAP. They retained NAASCU MVP Dexter Micutuan and added UCAA MVP Welland Muñoz, both from Cagayan de Oro. Another wise investment was the acquisition of shooter Lyndon Gudez, a high scoring stalwart of the University of San Jose – Recoletos in the CESAFI League in Cebu City where they lost to the Greg Slaughter-led University of Visayas in the finals.
The revamp was finalized with the entry of ex-pros Joey Mente (from Welcoat) and Philip Butel (from Sta. Lucia).
Lineup of the 2009 Meteors
With sponsors Holcim, Hanjin and Hapee, or the triple H, the Meteors rolled over the opposition with a perfect record in the eliminations winning the Zamboanga City, Laguna and Cebu City Legs. The homecourt jinx did not exempt the Meteors as the Cebu Niños won the Cagayan de Oro City Leg.
In the finals against perennial powerhouse ML Kwarta Padala Cebu Niños, the Meteors of Gov. Oscar Moreno and Coach Jun Noel just would not let the great season come to a disappointing end. They beat the Niños in the deciding 5th game at the New Cebu City Coliseum, silencing the large partisan crowd and crown themselves the new Liga Pilipinas Champions.
Now, MVP Mark Yee has been signed up by Burger King in the PBA, and based on his initial games, Yee has somehow found a nitche in Coach Yeng Guiao’s system and could probably be re-signed in the next conference.
The Meteors are now looking for his replacement as they try to defend their title in the next conference slated late this year.