QUEZON CITY – Santa Lucia Realty completed the semifinal cast of the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) Founders Cup after dominating the Cagayan Rising Suns, 84-56, last Tuesday (December 8) at the Jesus Christ Saves Global Outreach Gym. The Realtors recovered their bearing after losing to the Rising Suns, 67-82, last December 3 to set the stage for the knockout game.
Santa Lucia will face second seed Jumbo Plastic Linoleum Giants in a best-of-three series starting Thursday (December 10) at JCSGO at 6:00 PM. The other semifinal pairing pits top seed Caida Tiles against fourth seed Euro-Med Laboratories at 4:00 PM.
Clad in red shirts with the logo “BME19” in honor of PCBL Chairman Manuel “Buddy” Encarnado, a fired up Santa Lucia quintet set the tone early with Jun Gabriel scoring on two dunks as the score was knotted at 5-5. Apparently, they learned their lesson from Game One wherein they took Cagayan lightly.
The Realtors tunleashed a crippling 13-0 first period run behind Raymond Ilagan, Jerald Bautista and Mac Montilla to seize back the lead for good, 18-7. Cagayan never recovered as Jett Vidal scored 11 unanswered points on three triples to erect Santa Lucia’s biggest lead of the first half, 40-13, in the process limiting the opposition to a single field goal by Nichole Bangga in the first eight minutes of the second canto.
Big men Gabriel and Wowie Escosio then took over and pounded the inside as the Realtors’ cushion ballooned to 65-33 entering the final period. By then, scrub time set in and Coach Boni Garcia allowed his role players to finish the job and they responded by establishing the day’s biggest lead, 81-45.
“For the first time, I played Jun and Wowie together for a long stretch so we will control the rebounds on both ends of the court,” said Coach Garcia. “My other instruction was to block all of the opponents’ shots and Jun had four.”
Vidal’s 14-point second period explosion was enough but still added a free throw in the fourth to pace the Realtors with 15 points. Gabriel and Escosio were next with 12 points each with Gabriel hauling nine rebounds to go with four blocks.
Rocky Acidre was the lone bright spot for the Rising Suns with 12 points spread throughout the game. Stephen Siruma was next with all his 10 points submitted in the second half as the rest of the team failed to meet their scoring averages.
“It will be a good series against Jumbo Plastic,” added Coach Garcia. “We vow to be competitive.”
How They Scored:
SANTA LUCIA (84) – Vidal 15, Escosio 12, Gabriel 12, Montilla 8, Castanarez 6, Bautista 6, Ablaza 5, Salado 5, Wetherell 4, Ilagan 4, Celiz 4, Onwubere 2, Sarangay 1, Camasura 0, Nicholls 0.
CAGAYAN VALLEY (56) – Acidre 12, Siruma 10, Arce 9, Bangga 6, Isit 5, Flores 4, Caranguian 3, Managuelod 3, Salcedo 2, Macasling 2, Doligon 0, Brana 0, Elmejrab 0.
Period Scores: 20-11, 45-19, 65-33, 84-56.