QUEZON CITY – Elite guards Jiovani Jalalon and Allan Mangahas lifted their respective teams to victories at the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) Founders Cup Thursday (November 19) at the Jesus Christ Saves Global Outreach Gym. Jalalon and the Caida Tilemasters whipped Santa Lucia Realty, 90-79, while Mangahas and Foton Toplander survived Kama Motors, 87-84.
More importantly, Caida’ seventh win in nine starts assured them of the top seeding in the playoff round. The top four seeds will enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage over the lower seeds hence none of the eight participating teams will be eliminated.
With a lone field goal to show through three periods, Jalalon turned up the juice in the fourth as he unloaded four points and assisted to two key baskets at the tail end of a dizzying 20-6 run that put Caida comfortably ahead for good, 80-70, and 2:44 to go. The Realtors countered with four unanswered points to close in, 74-80, but that was the best that they could do as Jalalon and Billy Ray Robles completed a pair of steals that both led the breakaway layups to seal the deal.
Robles topped all scorers with a personal best of 22 points to go with four rebounds and four assists. Jalalon totalled 10 points, six rebounds, eight assists and four steals to share Best Player honors with Marvin Hayes who had 15 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.
“He is now adjusting, he is our leader now and I know he is capable,” said Coach Michael Buendia about Jalalon after the game. The do-it-all guard joined the team in their third game then took two games off with the consent of the coaching staff to rest and recharge.
The Malolos City-based Tilemasters are now on a two-game run after arresting their two-game losing streak that followed their 5-0 start. “We became complacent after the 5-0 start so we pushed the players to work harder in practice especially on defense,” said Coach Buendia.
Wowie Escosio paced the Realtors with 12 points, five rebounds and three assists followed by Kent Salado with 10 points, three assists and two steals. Caida outscored Santa Lucia in the fourth period, 32-21 after a 58-58 deadlock after three periods.
In the second game, Foton Toplander achieved their first back-to-back wins and raised their record to 3-6 while Kama Motors dropped to 4-5. Mangahas uncorked a big triple that shattered the game’s final deadlock, 85-82, with 41 seconds on the clock.
Mark Montuano quickly scored a basket but could not complete his bonus free throw and still trail, 84-85. Levi Hernandez then missed a triple but Ed Rivera collared the defensive rebound plus a foul from Rudy Lingganay.
Rivera then made both gift shots for the final count. Lingganay tried to force an extension but his triple attempt missed at the buzzer.
The Pampanga-based quintet looked headed for a cakewalk after Rivera completed a three-point play to begin the second half for their biggest lead, 48-30, but Kama had other plans as a barrage of three triples from JR Cawaling and one each from Roider Cabrera and Yvan Ludovice helped make the difference closer entering the final canto, 57-61.
“I told Allan to do his thing, he is our veteran and superstar,” said Coach Jonathan Reyes. Mangahas downplayed his coach’s praises by saying “I’ve been with this team for only two months and I’m still adjusting and learning – it’s good that I have played with some of my teammates before in other leagues.”
It has been a big challenge for Mangahas to travel daily between his home in San Pedro, Laguna to the team’s practices in San Fernando City. In between, he still attends classes at the Mapua Institute of Technology where he hopes to earn his degree next year.
Mangahas flirted with a triple double by submitted nine of his 21 points in the fourth period on top of seven rebounds and eight assists. Marlon Gomez had a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds while three other teammates tallied twin digits as Foton avenged their 74-76 setback to Kama last October 26.
Lingganay showed the way for Kama with 21 points, five rebounds and nine assists. Cabrera followed with 17 and Cawaling added 15 as the team shot a combined 13 out of 38 triple attempts.
There will be limited time to rest as the PCBL Founders Cup resumes on Friday (November 20) at the San Juan Arena. Euro-Med Laboratories plays the Cagayan Rising Suns for the second time at 4:00 PM followed by the rematch between Jumbo Plastic and Supremo Lex Builders-OLFU at the 6:00 PM.
How They Scored:
CAIDA TILES (90) – Robles 22, Hayes 15, Jalalon 10, Corpuz 9, Lozada 8, Gabawan 7, Almario 7, Ruaya 6, Maiquez 4, Leynes 2, Terso 0, Jamon 0, Rios 0.
SANTA LUCIA (79) – Escosio 12, Salado 10, Camasura 9, Montilla 8, Vidal 8, Bautista 8, Gabriel 8, Onwubere 6, Ilagan 4, Celiz 4, Ablaza 2, Wetherell 0, Castanarez 0.
Period Scores: 18-16, 39-45, 58-58, 90-79.
FOTON (87) – Mangahas 21, Gomez 19, Hernandez 18, Rivera 15, Nacpil 12, Reyes 2, Rosaroso 0, Enriquez 0, Juruena 0.
KAMA MOTORS (84) – Lingganay 21, Cabrera 17, Cawaling 15, Argamino 13, Ludovice 6, Ambulodto 6, Montuano 4, Calisaan 2, Lunor 0, Saitanan 0.
Period Scores: 26-17, 45-30, 61-57, 87-84.