QUEZON CITY – An inspired and intense Jumbo Plastic Linoleum Giants scored the crucial win in Game One of the best of three championship series of the 2015 Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) Founders Cup by crushing top seed Caida Tiles, 79-61, at the Jesus Christ Saves Global Outreach Gym Friday evening (December 18). The Tilemasters will host Game Two set for Sunday (December 20) at the Malolos City Sports and Convention Center starting at 7:00 PM.
Mark Lopez typified the Giants’ intensity as he scored the game’s first two baskets. His intensity rubbed on to his fellow starters, setting the stage for the entry of substitute James Martinez who quickly pumped in seven markers including a patented triple to push their side further ahead by the end of the first 10 minutes, 23-13.
Martinez and Lopez continued their offensive display, scoring from all angles as their margin ballooned by halftime, 44-26. By the third, Jumbo Plastic’s lead reached its peak of 24 markers, 58-34.
The best that Caida could do was to trim the deficit to as low as 14 on several occasions, the last coming at 53-67. However, Martinez easily bailed out the Giants as all his seven points in the fourth managed to stop Caida’s unanswered scoring runs.
Despite the good shooting night, Coach Stevenson Tiu credited the win to their zone defense. “We wanted to challenge their shooters so we played zone and it worked,” said Coach Tiu.
The Giants thus ended Caida’s six-game winning run while stretching their own winning streak to three. The last time the Tilemasters suffered defeat was at the hands of their sister team Kama Motors, 78-82, last November 10.
Martinez led the way for Jumbo Plastic with 22 points. Marcy Arellano supported him with 16 points and six rebounds while Lopez added 14 points, nine rebounds and two steals to get the nod as the game’s Best Player.
“I am thankful we got this important first win,” said Lopez. “We will stay humble as a team and we must still respect Caida Tiles.”
Coach Tiu also cited the postponement of Game One which was supposed to be played last December 16 as another major factor. Coming off a gruelling three-game semfinal series against Santa Lucia Realty, the sudden break allowed the Giants an extra rest day and they had a light workout yesterday.
On the other hand, the Tilemasters looked rusty after having last seen action nearly a week ago when they eliminated Euro-Med Laboratories last December 12. The 61 points is the lowest output for the team in the tournament, a far cry from their 84.8 scoring average entering Game One.
Jiovani Jalalon was the lone double-figure scorer for the Tilemasters with 11 points on top of two rebounds and two assists. Dexter Maiquez was next with nine points and four rebounds.
Before Game Two, Euro-Med and Santa Lucia will meet in a one-game playoff for Third Place starting at 5:00 PM. Should Caida Tiles force a Game Three, it will be on December 22 again at Malolos City.
How They Scored:
JUMBO PLASTIC (79) – Martinez 22, Arellano 16, M. Lopez 14, Viernes 7, J. Lopez 6, Eguilos 5, Padilla 5, Taganas 4, Mandani 0, Perez 0.
CAIDA TILES (61) – Jalalon 11, Maiquez 9, Ruaya 7, Hayes 7, Robles 7, Lozada 6, Corpuz 4, Gabawan 4, Terso 4, Leynes 2, Jamon 0, Rios 0, Almario 0.
Period Scores: 23-13, 44-26, 63-45, 79-61.