QUEZON CITY – Euro-Med Laboratories prevailed in their playoff against Kama Motors, 73-71, to claim the fourth seed and the twice to beat advantage in the 2015 Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) Founders Cup at the Jesus Christ Saves Global Outreach Gym Tuesday evening (December 1). Both sides will clash anew on Saturday (December 5) with Euro-Med aiming to finish the series and advance to the semifinals.
Pari Llagas bucked a hamstring injury to scatter all of his team-high 12 points in the second half as Euro-Med recovered from a forgettable first period wherein they could only produce seven markers against Kama’s 18.
Llagas was a force under the goal as managed to give Euro-Med the lead for the first time with the second half’s opening field goal, 32-31, and then helped extend the lead further with timely hits. Aaron Jeruta gave Euro-Med its biggest lead early in the final period, 58-48, but Kama staged a big comeback behind Mark Montuano, Roider Cabrera and JR Cawaling.
Rudy Lingganay then drilled in a triple to put Kama at their closest with still 1:27 left on the clock, 66-67. However, Llagas came to the rescue as he hit back to back baskets followed by two Jeruta free throws at the 25-second mark to ease the pressure, 73-66.
“The players who I did not expect to contribute contributed so credit goes to the second unit,” said Coach Yong Garcia. “I asked Pari at halftime if he wanted to continue and he said yes.”
The substitutes really delivered. Aside from Llagas, the trio of Jeruta, Adrian Santos and Carl Bryan Cruz came off the bench to pump in 10 markers each as they outscored the Kama reserves, 53-25.
Montuano paced Kama with 15 points and seven rebounds. Cabrera followed with 13 points but could only make one out of his six tries from three-point range.
The PCBL playoffs formally begin on Thursday (December 3) with third seed Santa Lucia Realty meeting sixth seed Cagayan Rising Suns at 4:00 PM at JCSGO. The main game pits second seed Jumbo Plastic versus Foton Toplander at 6:00 PM.
Meanwhile, Lingganay emerged as the top Most Valuable Player candidate after the classification phase by compiling robust averages of 17.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists for a total of 64.90 statistical points. A far second is Supremo Lex Builders-OLFU center Joseph Gabayni (53.56 SP) followed by Jay-R Taganas of Jumbo Plastic at third (52.00 SP).
Levi Hernandez of Foton ended up as the top scorer with 18.0 points per game over 10 games. Gabayni grabbed the most rebounds with 9.6 per game while Lingganay topped the assists category with 6.5 per game.
How They Scored:
EURO-MED (73) – Llagas 12, Jeruta 10, Cruz 10, Santos 10, Villahermosa 9, Zamar 6, Custodio 5, de Leon 4, Abundo 4, Cortes 3, Cenal 0, Galanza 0, Alberto 0, Celso 0.
KAMA MOTORS (71) – Montuano 15, Cabrera 13, Cawaling 12, Lingganay 11, Ambulodto 8, Calisaan 6, Ortuoste 4, Argamino 2, Pontejos 0, Lunor 0, Saitanan 0, Ludovice 0.
Period Scores: 7-18, 30-31, 52-47, 73-71.