Three In A Row For CafeFrance

2015 Foundation Cup     PASIG CITY – The CaféFrance Bakers copped their third straight win in continuing action from the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Thursday (April 16) at the Ynares Sports Arena by clipping the tough MP Hotel Warriors, 86-77. In the other game, the KeraMix Mixers shocked the Hapee Fresh Fighters, 77-74.

The expected cakewalk for the Bakers never materialized as the largest lead they could build amounted to only 10 points, 26-16. In a game of spurts, the Warriors finally tasted the lead for the first time on a Bong Quinto triple with 3:50 to go in the third period, 52-50.

The celebration was short lived as the Bakers unloaded seven unanswered points to close the period, 59-52. Yutien Andrada made a field goal followed by a Maverick Ahanmisi triple that matched CaféFrance’s biggest lead with still 5:42 remaining, 74-64, and the Bakers coasted to the victory.

Sadly, the triumph came with a price as Bakers guard Alvin Abundo rolled his left ankle as he attempted a floater in the waning seconds of the first half and the Bakers ahead, 42-34. “Losing Alvin was a big blow to the team especially with our ball movement but I’m glad the other guards stepped up in his absence,” said winning coach Edgar Macaraya.

Ahanmisi led all scorers with 18 points on top of nine rebounds and six assists. Joseph Sedurifa added 15 markers followed by Yutien Andrada with 11.

Quinto paced the Warriors with 15 points, 13 made in the second half, plus five rebounds. Mark Cruz and Rey Nambatac supported him with 14 and 13 points respectively.

The Bakers only loss was one-point squeaker at the hands of Cebuana Lhuillier, 85-86, in their tournament debut last March 16. The Warriors fell to the bottom of the 10-team field at 1-4.

Despite the return of Hapee stalwart Ray Parks from a shoulder injury, the Mixers opted to play small ball and the ploy of Coach Carlos Garcia worked out well. Trailing 4-6, the Mixers managed to rattle off eight straight points to grab the lead for good, 12-6.

The Mixers always had a ready answer for all of Hapee’s rallies in a shockingly physical affair. The usually calm Parks and Rosario were slapped flagrant fouls that forced them to temporarily sit down as penalty.

The tension nearly hit boiling point at the 6:07 mark of the third period after Mixer Jam Jamito committed a flagrant foul by slapping a driving Kirk Long on the face. Brief scuffles ensued and a slew of technical fouls were assessed on of players and officials of both sides.

Hapee tried one final rally with Parks sinking a triple and Long stealing the ensuing inbound pass for a layup, 67-70, and 1:51 on the clock. Mike Parala added a free throw for some breathing space, 71-67, and the Fresh Fighters blew their chances with a 24-second violation to return the ball to KeraMix.

Jeff Alvin Viernes and Michael DiGregorio sealed the win with four straight free throws that raised the Mixers’ advantage to eight markers and 57 ticks left, 75-67. A late scoring spree by Nico Elorde reduced Hapee’s final deficit.

“I told the players that if they want to make the playoffs, they have to beat Hapee,” said Coach Garcia. “The team is blessed to have two of the best point guards in the league in Jiovani and Jeff.”

Jalalon and Viernes rewarded their coach’s confidence in them with 12 and 11 points each. DiGregorio and seldom-used Billy Ray Robles also knocked in 11 for the Mixers who arrested their two-game losing slump and improve to 3-2.

Chris Newsome and Rosario were the high men for the Fresh Fighters with 15 points apiece. Long chipped in 11 points as they leveled their record to 2-2 in a logjam with Jumbo Plastic, AMA University and the Cagayan Valley, their next opponent this Monday (April 20) at the San Juan Arena in a rematch of the 2014-2015 Aspirants Cup finale.

How They Scored:

First Game

CAFÉFRANCE (86) – Ahanmisi 18, Sedurifa 15, Andrada 11, Jeruta 7, de Leon 7, Batino 7, Abundo 6, Ebondo 6, Cortes 5, Noble 4, Galanza 0, Celso 0, Miranda 0.

MP HOTEL (77) – Quinto 15, Cruz 14, Nambatac 13, Acidre 9, Custodio 7, Escosio 6, Mirza 5, Colina 4, Mendoza 4, de la Pena 0.

Period Scores: 21-16, 42-34, 59-52, 86-77.

Second Game

KERAMIX (77) – Jalalon 12, DiGregorio 11, Viernes 11, Robles 11, Gabawan 8, Ruaya 8, Parala 8, Agovida 6, Jamito 2, Bartolo 0.

HAPEE (74) – Newsome 15, Rosario 15, Long 11, Elorde 9, Parks 7, Villahermosa 5, Bringas 4, Thompson 3, Gamboa 2, Mendoza 2, Romero 0, Hayes 0.

Period Scores: 15-12, 34-25, 53-42, 77-73.

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Doctor Commish?

Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem

Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem

ONE OF the leading contenders for the soon to be vacated position of Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner is Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem of Saint Clare College of Caloocan. His qualifications and resume are very apt for the very prestigious albeit demanding job.

Currently, Dr. Adalem is the Treasurer and Finance Committee head of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) of which the PBA is one of the stakeholders. The SBP is the only legitimate national sports association for basketball recognized by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and most importantly the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

He is also one of the founders of the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) in 2001, easily the fastest growing varsity sports organization in the country. The NAASCU was the first league to throw its support behind what would eventually become the SBP in 2006.

The NAASCU will open its 15th season later this year. For a league to last that long speaks volumes of the leadership capability of Dr. Adalem and his associates.

Slowly but surely, he helped transform the Saint Clare Saints from whipping boys to championship contenders, eventually bagging their first NAASCU championship in 2012 followed by back-to-back runner-up finishes the last two seasons. Not bad for a small family-owned school going up against the bigger and more established universities.

On the heels of the Saints’ 2012 NAASCU conquest, he made the bold offer for the team to represent the Philippines in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Burma. Aside from the NAASCU, the Saints captured the 21st National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) crown in 2014 via a clean sweep of all its games.

Of course, Dr. Adalem has also had experience as a player in his youth. He was a role player for the power house University of Santos Tomas High School varsity when they were still called the Nuggets, but he later opted to focus on his studies and eventually became a Medical Doctor.

Aside from basketball, Dr. Adalem is the President of the Philippine Handball Federation (PHF) wherein he has recruited several former cagers to form the core of the national teams in the Olympic sport that is a hybrid of basketball and football. Being an NSA head, he has been appointed by the POC as the country’s chef de mission to several international sporting events like the SEA Games and has held officer positions in other NSA’s.

In his sporting life, Dr. Ernesto Jay Adalem has exhibited an unquestionable track record of hard work, passion and integrity. These are the qualities needed for a very sensitive position like PBA Commissioner.

The PBA has had lawyers, a military officer and businessmen appointed as Commissioner. Perhaps it is time to give a doctor a chance for he just might have the prescription that will take Asia’s first professional league to the next level.

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Gems Are 4-0!

Jackson Corpuz made 13 of his 18 points in the third period to key the Gems' win.

Jackson Corpuz made 13 of his 18 points in the third period to key the Gems’ win.  (photo courtesy of Freddie Dionisio)

2015 Foundation Cup

SAN JUAN City – The Cebuana Lhuillier Gems maintained their unblemished record atop the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup standings via a methodical 81-70 crushing of the Tanduay Light Rhum Masters Monday (April 13) at the San Juan Arena. The Gems’ fourth straight win marks the franchise’s best start since the D-League opened shop in 2011.

Jackson Corpuz scattered 13 of his 18 points in the pivotal third period as the Gems turned a 34-35 deficit into a commanding 58-50 cushion entering the final period. The high-leaping Corpuz’ third period output was two points lesser than the entire Rhum Master quintet.

Tanduay Light did not surrender easily as Roi Sumang and Jaypee Belencion tried their best to cut the deficit. Belencion’s triple put them at their closest, 69-62, but this was quickly negated by a basket by Moala Tautuaa and two free throws from Allan Mangahas, 73-62.

Raymond Ilagan then completed a three-point play to threaten for the last time, 67-74. Paul Zamar preserved the win by going six out of seven from the free throw stripe in the final two minutes.

“I reminded the players that they cannot just pray for their offense to click,” said Coach David “Boycie” Zamar. “They have to give it an effort on defense and everything else will follow.”

For a moment, Tanduay Light looked like it was ready to inflict the first loss on the Gems. Seldom-used Joseph Eriobu was inserted into the starting unit by Coach Lawrence Chongson and the gambit paid dividends as the forward quickly registered 10 points in the first period to push Tanduay Light ahead, 19-14, a lead they held until Corpuz’ third period heroics.

Tautuaa issued another superlative performance of 20 points highlighted by three dunks, 11 rebounds and five assists in front of team owner Jean Henri Lhuillier who watched behind their bench. Norbert Torres backed up Tautuaa and Corpuz with 16 points.

Eriobu failed to sustain his first period explosion but still topped Tanduay Light with 14 points. Sumang and Belencion chipped in 11 markers each as the Rhum Masters absorbed their third straight defeat after taking their tournament opener for a 1-3 card.

In the first game, the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns ended their two-game losing slump by pulverizing the Jumbo Plastic Linoleum Giants, 73-57. After the game’s only deadlock at 2-2, Abel Galliguez hit a triple followed by an Andrian Celada three-point play and it was an all-Cagayan show hence, 8-2.

The Rising Suns upped their lead to as high as 27 markers in the third canto, 57-30. The Giants’ cause suffered as they could only muster two field goals and the Rising Suns held strong entering the final period, 59-37.

“If we continue to play like this, there should be no problems,” declared team consultant Turo Valenzona. “The team worked to improve on their ball rotation and team defense especially in the fourth period.”

Galliguez topped Cagayan with 14 points off four triples. Celada supported him well with 13 points, six rebounds and two steals.

Dennice Villamor was the lone bright spot for Jumbo Plastic with 14 points, nine made in the fourth period. Tristan Perez was next with only eight markers as Giants fell to 2-2, the same record as the Rising Suns and idle squads AMA University Titans and KeraMix Mixers.

How They Scored:

First Game

CAGAYAN VALLEY (73) – Galliguez 14, Celada 13, Melano 12, Magat 9, Mabulac 7, Austria 5, Salamat 5, Rogado 4, Dilay 2, Flores 2, Tayongtong 0, Santos 0, Arquero 0.

JUMBO PLASTIC (57) – Villamor 14, Perez 8, Tiongson 7, Eguilos 7, Khobuntin 5, Rosales 5, Sabellina 4, Paniamogan 4, Avillanoza 3, Purdy 0, Almario 0.

Period Scores: 26-16, 43-28, 59-37, 73-57.

Second Game

CEBUANA LHUILLIER (81) – Tautuaa 20, Corpuz 18, Torres 16, Zamar 12, Enciso 6, Vosotros 3, J. Mangahas 3, A. Mangahas 2. Bautista 1, Acibar 0, Acosta 0, Marata 0, Lopez 0, Sarangay 0.

TANDUAY LIGHT (70) – Eriobu 14, Sumang 11, Belencion 11, Escueta 10, Mariano 8, Santos 7, Ilagan 6, Jumao-as 3, Mandani 0, Tagarda 0, Foronda 0, Rono 0, de la Paz 0.

Period Scores: 14-19, 34-35, 58-50, 81-70.

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adidas Futurestar Is Next

Simple and basic lines for the adidas Futurestar BOOST.

Simple and basic lines for the adidas Futurestar BOOST.

DID YOU see a familiar looking shoe during the recent NBA All-Star Weekend in New York City? If so, you must have seen the adidas Futurestar BOOST NYC All-Star edition, an all-new shoe paying tribute to the iconic adidas ProModel.

Getting cues from the ProModel’s classic design, the Futurestar BOOST was worn by selected athletes over the course of the three-day event in the Rising Stars Challenge, All-Star Saturday Night and the main All-Star Game. Of course, the shoe features the revolutionary BOOST technology for maximum cushioning and energy return for that modern twist.

The most obvious feature taken from the classic ProModel is the reinforced toe box. Aside from that, the new shoe has a white upper with snakeskin texture with the trademark three stripes in black located at the midfoot plus an elastic strap around the heel area for extra support.

The white and black colorway is in tandem with the official All-Star uniforms designed by adidas. The designs reflect the culture and attitude of the host city towards basketball, music and fashion.

First released in the early 1970’s, the ProModel can be likened to a high-cut version of another adidas bestseller, the Superstar. Both the ProModel and Superstar were the preferred shoes of most professional players from the NBA, ABA and PBA as well as amateurs and recreational players.

Fast forward to the 21st century, the Futurestar BOOST just like its predecessors is a shoe that is designed with no particular player in mind. It is a generic shoe that has the potential to be another bestseller.

The Futurestar BOOST is available at all adidas Sports Shops and major department stores and sporting goods shops. The suggested retail price is PHP 6,495.00.

For more information and the latest promos, check out adidas’ official social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the hash tag #BOOST.

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LiverMarin Wins, Hapee Rises

After three heartbreaks, success for Coach Rodney Santos and the LiverMarin Guardians.

After three heartbreaks, success for Coach Rodney Santos and the LiverMarin Guardians.

2015 Foundation Cup

PASIG CITY – The Hapee Fresh Fighters recovered in time to avoid the upset ax and tame the AMA University Titans, 69-65, at the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Thursday (April 9) at the Ynares Sports Arena. In the first game, the LiverMarin Guardians finally earned their first win in franchise history by halting the MP Hotel Warriors, 82-68.

After AMA’s James Martinez’ triple tied the game for the last time, 58-58, Hapee responded with two free throws by Earl Scottie Thompson followed by a Troy Rosario triple that gave them a 63-58 cushion with 2:30 to go. Martinez continued to threaten with another basket, 60-63, and their defense went to work by forcing the Fresh Fighters into a 24-second violation.

AMA however bungled the golden chance as Chris Newsome swiped the ball and sailed in for the tomahawk dunk at the 1:34 mark, 65-60. Dexter Maiquez then drilled another triple, 63-65, but that proved to be the Titans’ final stand.

Arvie Bringas scored on an undergoal stab plus a foul from Jay-R Taganas but did not complete the bonus charity, 67-63. A crucial Hapee stop forced the Titans to send Kirk Long to the line but he missed both shots.

In the ensuing rebound scuffle, Bringas managed to bat the loose ball back to Long who drove strong for two points, 69-63, plus a foul. Long missed the extra free throw but that proved enough with still 37 ticks left.

“AMA made us look bad in the first half with their good defense,” explained Coach Ronnie Magsanoc. The Titans managed to comfortably take the first half, 37-25, behind the seven points each of Martinez, Maiquez and Jerramy King.

The third canto proved key for the Fresh Fighters as they opened the second half with a 17-4 blitz topped by a Rosario three-point play that gave them the lead for the very first time, 42-41. Hapee’s defense limited the Titans to a paltry three of 16 shooting clip while forcing seven turnovers.

Rosario powered Hapee with 18 points and nine rebounds. Newsome backed him up with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists as they improved to 2-1.

Martinez finished with 17 points for AMA while Maiquez had 10 points, six rebounds and five assists. Taganas. The Titans dropped to an even 2-2 record.

While Hapee and AMA fought bitterly up to the end, winless LiverMarin had a surprisingly easy time against MP Hotel. Jan Colina opened the scoring for the Warriors but the Guardians responded with 10 straight points to signal the start of the blowout, 10-2.

Starters Jovit de la Cruz, Choi Ignacio and Ryan Costelo caught MP Hotel flatfooted and the assault was continued by substitute Nico Bangga for an imposing 45-25 lead at halftime. Mike Calisaan then opened the third period with another basket for the Guardians’ biggest lead, 47-25.

Rey Nambatac, Rocky Acidre, Mark Cruz and Colina tried their best to rally the Warriors but the best they could do was trim their deficit to 11 points with 3:50 play on an Acidre triple, 61-72. Bradwyn Guinto bailed LiverMarin out of trouble with five straight points and Ignacio added another field goal for an unassailable 79-61 advantage and 1:52 on the balance.

“I’m happy we finally won after three losses,” said Coach Rodney Santos with a big sigh of relief. “The players are now adjusting to the level of play in the D-League and I did not give them any pressure, just follow our system and run if you can.”

De la Cruz paced the Guardians with 15 points on top of five rebounds. Ignacio followed with 14 points and five rebounds.

Nambatac had good numbers of 16 points and 13 rebounds. Acidre was next with 12 points, eight made in the third period after a scoreless first half.

How They Scored:

First Game

LIVERMARIN (82) – de la Cruz 15, Ignacio 14, Guinto 11, Costelo 10, Bangga 7, de Vera 6, Ortuoste 5, Santos 4, Calisaan 3, Fabian 2, Rios 2, Laude 2, Mag-isa 1, Balucanag 0.

MP HOTEL (68) – Nambatac 14, Acidre 12, Colina 11, Cruz 11, Custodio 8, Mirza 6, Quinto 2, Pacquiao 2, Escosio 0, Mendoza 0, Masaglang 0, de la Pena 0.

Period Scores: 22-12, 45-25, 62-48, 82-68.

Second Game

HAPEE (69) – Rosario 18, Newsome 12, Thompson 11, Long 9, Bringas 8, Elorde 4, Romero 4, Mendoza 3, Gamboa 0, Villahermosa 0, Lopez 0, Hayes 0.

AMA (65) – Martinez 17, Maiquez 10, Tampus 9, King 9, Taganas 7, Terso 5, Sison 4, Arellano 2, Jordan 2, Quijano 0, Angeles 0, Roberto 0, Dizon 0.

Period Scores: 10-16, 25-37, 50-43, 69-66.

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China Or Bust For Pinay Volleybelles

Team Pilipinas with Coach Sammy Acaylar target a decent showing in the coming Asian Seniors.

Team Pilipinas with Coach Sammy Acaylar target a decent showing in the coming Asian Seniors.

ALL IS set for the Philippines’ grand return to the international volleyball scene via the 18th Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship scheduled for May 20 to 28, 2015 in the cities of Tianjin and Beijing, China. Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas (LVPI) in cooperation with the Philippine Super Liga (PSL) has officially started tryouts and preparations under the supervision of multi-titled coach Sammy Acaylar Tuesday evening (April 7) at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Over 20 patriotic ladies showed up, led by nominated team captain Abigail Marano of Petron Blaze. “I’m happy with the turnout and everyone showed they want to contribute to the national cause,” said Coach Acaylar.

By next week, the pool will be trimmed to 18 players from where the final 12 regulars and two alternates will be selected to fly to China. Assisting Coach Acaylar are Rosemarie Prochina, Francis Vicente, Marcelo Joaquin and Benson Bocboc.

The Filipinas face a tall order come tournament time as they have been drawn in Pool D together with returning Bronze medalist South Korea, Australia and Kazakhstan. Thailand is the defending champion, bagging the trophy two years ago on their home court in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Australia will be the Philippines’ first opponent on May 20. This will be followed by games against the Kazakhs on May 21 and the South Koreans on May 22.

Among the other players who attended were Michelle Gumabao, Myla Pablo, Melissa Gohing, Shaya Adorador and Iris Tolenada of Philips Gold, Carmina Aganon, Mary Grace Masangkay and Ivy Jisel Perez of Petron Blaze, Rizza Jane Mandapat and Kim Dy of, Marleen Cortel, Lilet Mabbayad and Abigail Praca of Mane ‘N Tail, Ana James Diocareza and Jamela Suyat of the University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta and Angelique Dionela, Carmela Tunay, Rica Jane Enclona, Jana Katrina Sta. Maria, Colleen Bravo, Jeanetta Panaga, Jannine Navarro and Lourdes Clemente of Cignal HD. At the moment, Coach Acaylar is not closing the door on other players who may later wish to tryout.

PSL President and CEO Ramon "Tats" Suzara giving his pep talk to the ladies.

PSL President and CEO Ramon “Tats” Suzara giving his pep talk to the ladies.

“Almost all the players we invited showed up plus a few walk-ons,” added Coach Acaylar. Right now, the coaching staff is looking at one to two training sessions a week.

Before the workout, the ladies were given a pep talk by Super Liga President and CEO Ramon “Tats” Suzara who stressed the rare opportunity and special feeling of playing for the national team. “The PSL adjusted the schedule of the ongoing All-Filipino Conference so that it will finish earlier and allow the team more time to train together,” he said.

For her part, Marano could not hide her excitement at the chance to don the national colors again after a potential stint with the national junior squad in 2009 fizzled out. “I thank my team Petron Blaze and my employer Meralco for allowing me to pursue my dream,” she said.

The Philippine Senior Women’s Team is currently ranked in 63rd Place among 121 nations in the latest FIVB World Ranking. While winning the coming Asian tournament is a long shot, the country’s participation alone is a major and logical step after the unprecedented growth of volleyball as both a participatory and spectator sport over the last decade.

Given the popularity and star power of the names mentioned earlier, in the end only one name on their jerseys will matter – Philippines. It’s high time to reclaim a place in the world volleyball map.

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Streaking Bakers and Giants!

Rodrigue Ebondo was a force under the goal with 18 points and 16 rebounds.  (photo courtesy of Dante Peralta)

Rodrigue Ebondo was a force under the goal with 18 points and 16 rebounds. (photo courtesy of Dante Peralta)

2015 Foundation Cup

SAN JUAN City – The CaféFrance Bakers scored an impressive come from behind victory over the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns, 86-80, at the resumption of the 2015 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Monday afternoon (April 6) at the San Juan Arena. In the first game, the Jumbo Plastic Linoleum Giants drubbed the KeraMix Mixers for their second straight win, 78-72.

Trailing by their largest after three periods, 52-66, the Bakers went on a 21-7 run led by Maverick Ahanmisi and Jam Cortes and capped with Rodrigue Ebondo tying the game with two free throws, 73-73, and 4:47 to play. Still, the Rising Suns held on via key scores by Abel Galliguez and Adrian Celada.

After a key Bakers defensive stop, Aaron Jeruta then shattered the game’s final deadlock with a triple at the 1:25 mark, 81-78. That proved to be the dagger as the Rising Suns never recovered, coming up with only two free throws down the stretch while CaféFrance methodically sealed the game from the foul stripe.

“Coming off our two-week break, it seems the team forgot how to play basketball,” said Coach Edgar Macaraya with a little grin. “Good thing they again showed their character with their second half performance.”

The Rising Suns looked to turn the game into a runaway as Celada, Don Trollano and Michael Mabulac took turns at peppering the Bakers with big baskets. Cagayan outscored the Bakers in the third, 31-20, but this was negated by the Bakers’ final period explosion, 34-14.

Slowly recovering from injuries that hounded him in the previous games, Ebondo came off the bench to lead CaféFrance with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Reigning NAASCU MVP Samboy de Leon gave massive support with 17 points off three triples on top of eight rebounds.

Celada paced the Rising Suns with 14 markers. Trollano followed with 12 points and four assists but his foul trouble and early disqualification tolled heavily.

The Giants unveiled a surprise in guard Alex Almario as the former Jose Rizal Heavy Bomber immediately scattered 12 points in the opening half to push Jumbo Plastic ahead, 40-35. Entering the game in Second Place in the 10-team standings, the Mixers countered with Michael DiGregorio waxing hot from arc by draining three triples to threaten entering the final phase, 52-55.

Jeff Alvin Viernes then converted a technical free throw followed by a Keith Agovida field goal that gave back the Mixers the upper hand for the first time since the first period, 59-57. DiGregorio continued his shooting spree with his sixth triple for the Mixers’ biggest lead with 3:25 on the clock, 69-63.

Suddenly, Jumbo Plastic rattled off nine unanswered points highlighted by back-to-back three-point plays by Almario and Glenn Khobuntin to seize back the lead, 72-69. DiGregorio and Dennice Villamor then traded triples but Keith Agovida commited a costly error that returned possession to the Giants with 16 ticks remaining.

With no choice but to foul and stop the time, the Mixers sent Philip Paniamogan to the free throw line and proceeded to make two free throws that made it a two-possession game, 77-72. KeraMix bungled its last offensive and Paniamogan settled the final tally with another free throw at the two-second mark.

Coach Stevenson Tiu was all praises for Almario, who he benched in their last game. “He really dictated the game’s tempo and Alex worked hard to defend the guards of KeraMix like Jeff Viernes and Jiovani Jalalon,” said Coach Tiu who also challenged his players to prove that their 64-61 win over Hapee last March 23 was not a fluke.

Almario finished with 17 points and five steals. Paniamogan and Tristan Perez followed with 12 points each.

DiGregorio topped KeraMix with 21 points, all coming from the three-point line. Viernes was next with 10 points and six rebounds as the Mixers have now lost their last two games after starting the tournament with two wins.

How They Scored:

First Game

JUMBO PLASTIC (78) – Almario 17, Paniamogan 12, Perez 12, Villamor 10, Khobuntin 8, Sabellina 7, Tiongson 4, Avillanoza 4, Eguilos 2, Rosales 2.

KERAMIX (72) – DiGregorio 21, Viernes 10, Saitanan 8, Parala 8, Jalalon 7, Ruaya 5, Gabawan 4, Jamito 4, Gil 3, Agovida 2, Canta 0.

Period Scores: 22-18, 40-35, 55-52, 78-72.

Second Game

CAFÉFRANCE (86) – Ebondo 18, de Leon 17, Cortes 15, Ahanmisi 13, Jeruta 9, Andrada 6, Miranda 3, Abundo 3, Sedurifa 2, Galanza 0, Noble 0, Batino 0.

CAGAYAN VALLEY (80) – Celada 14, Trollano 12, Mabulac 9, Tayongtong 8, Magat 7, Santos 7, Galliguez 7, Austria 6, Melano 6, Rogado 4, Dilay 0, Flores 0, Arquero 0.

Period Scores: 19-22, 32-35, 52-66, 86-80.

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