QUEZON CITY – The race for the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) Founders Cup just got tighter as Euro-Med Laboratories and Santa Lucia Realty tallied major victories Thursday (November 12) at the Jesus Christ Saves Global Outreach Gym. Both winners ended up in a triple tie with idle Cagayan for third to fifth place with 4-3 win-loss cards.
Euro-Med put a halt to the Jumbo Plastic Linoleum Giants’ five-game winning streak, 81-74. The Giants’ put them in a tie with Caida Tiles for first place at 5-2.
Trailing after the first half, 28-36, Euro-Med turned to their defense that resulted in a crippling 15-0 run spanning the final six minutes of the third period to turn the tide in their favor, 52-42. The Giants had trouble finding the basket with only six points in the period until Marcy Arellano ended the bleeding with a layup just before the period buzzer, 44-52.
Still not satisfied, Euro-Med kept up the pressure and upped their advantage to as high as 13 markers on a stab from Adrian Santos at the three-minute mark, 74-61. From there, the best that Jumbo Plastic could do was to reduce the deficit to only five points with 35 seconds to go, 74-79.
“Our defense really saved us today,” said Coach Yong Garcia. “The new recruits are also blending in well now just in time for the crucial stages of the tournament.”
Euro-Med limited Jumbo Plastic to only 28 out of 74 shooting from the field, including only two out of 22 triple attempts. They also won the battle for rebounds, 49-36, with Santos hauling 11.
Mar Villahermosa took Best Player honors for the second game in a row with 20 points spread well throughout the game to go with four rebounds and four assists. Samboy de Leon followed with 11 points and four rebounds while midstream additions Aaron Jeruta and Pari Llagas also hit 10 points each.
Jumbo Plastic defeated Euro-Med, 79-65, in their first meeting last October 23 at the San Juan Arena. Euro-Med and Cagayan now have the best active win streaks at two games and counting.
In the first game, the Realtors disposed of cellar-dweller Foton Toplander, 71-55. All the Realtors needed were 10 unanswered points midway through the second period for a 31-20 cushion which they never relinquished.
Santa Lucia proceeded to score the first 11 points of the third period for their biggest lead of the game, 49-23, and it was all smooth sailing from there. The 55 points of Foton is a new tournament record for lowest output.
“We really needed this win because we are in the middle of the pack,” said Coach Boni Garcia. “The twice to beat advantage is still very attainable and we will go for it in our next game against Cagayan this coming Saturday.”
Jerald Bautista powered the Realtors with 17 points and six rebounds. Mac Montilla backed him up with 11 markers.
Marlon Gomez was the lone Foton player in twin digits with 10 points on top of nine rebounds. Mikee Reyes and Allen Enriquez followed with eight points each as Foton dropped to 1-6.
The Realtors will try to break out of the logjam by battling the Rising Suns this Saturday (November 14) at JCSGO starting at 2:00 PM. The main game at 4:00 PM will showcase Caida Tiles versus Euro-Med.
How They Scored:
SANTA LUCIA (71) – Bautista 17, Montilla 11, Ilagan 9, Onwubere 9, Wetherell 8, Gabriel 8, Vidal 4, Salado 3, Celiz 2, Escosio 0, Camasura 0, Castanarez 0, Nicholls 0, Sarangay 0.
FOTON (55) – Gomez 10, Reyes 8, Enriquez 8, Mangahas 7, Hernandez 7, Rivera 6, Nacpil 5, Moraga 3, Habelito 1, Rosaroso 0.
Period Scores: 16-14, 38-23, 54-37, 71-55.
EURO-MED (81) – Villahermosa 20, de Leon 11, Jeruta 10, Llagas 10, Cortes 8, Galanza 7, Cruz 5, Zamar 4, Santos 4, Abundo 2, Alberto 0, Celso 0, Custodio 0.
JUMBO PLASTIC (74) – Viernes 14, Martinez 14, Acosta 9, Arellano 9, J. Lopez 8, Padilla 7, Eguilos 6, Taganas 4, Tayongtong 3, Mandani 0, Perez 0.
Period Scores: 12-16, 28-36, 52-44, 81-74.