MARIKINA CITY – After a 12-day break, the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) Chairman’s Cup resumed Wednesday (March 30) at the Marikina Sports Center. Shorthanded Jumbo Plastic and Biyaheng SCTEX zoomed up the standings after taking care of separate opponents in contrasting fashion.
The Linoleum Giants got their first winning streak by whipping Foton Toplander, 79-68. It was likewise a back-to-back for the Road Warriors as they thumped Supremo Lex-OLFU, 69-62.
Jumbo Plastic allowed Foton to race to a 7-0 lead but settled down to hold a shaky 32-29 advantage by halftime. Jeff Alvin Viernes then made the second half his private playground as he scattered 19 of his 24 points to break the game wide open.
The Founders Cup Finals Most Valuable Player hit back-to-back triples then added another basket to spark a crucial 13-2 run in the final canto that gave Jumbo Plastic their biggest lead of the day, 76-62, and over four minutes to play. This also marks the second straight game that Viernes scored 24 points while James Martinez provided great support with 20 points.
While improving to 3-2 and third place, a major story developed as the Giants dropped NCAA MVP Allwell Oraeme as their import. The 6’8” Oraeme, who was averaging 5.8 points and 11.5 rebounds over four games, stopped attending practices without a valid excuse hence the decision.
“I know we enter this game with a big handicap playing all-Filipino so I challenged the team to for our first back-to-back win of the conference,” said Coach Tiu. “We have to move on and management has already contacted several prospective replacements.”
From second spot, Foton dropped all the way down to fourth, snapping their two-game winning run for an even 2-2 record. Levi Hernandez returned from injury to pop in 14 points followed by Cedric Ablaza with 12.
Meanwhile, the Road Warriors took provisional second place with a 2-1 win-loss card. The Builders now are on a three-game skid since winning their opening game against Foton.
“We are still far from what we want to be,” said Coach Adonis Tierra. “I am blessed to have two good and experienced point guards in Pamboy Raymundo and Borgie Hermida who also serve as my extension on the court.”
True to Coach Tierra’s word, Raymundo and Hermida gave stellar performances to hold off the late rallies of Supremo Lex. The pair hit crucial baskets down the stretch in combination with burly Raul Soyud who iced the game with four free throws.
Raymundo paced the Road Warriors with 16 points on top of four rebounds and four assists. Soyud had his second straight double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Jan Jamon topped the Builders with 14 points. Hamadou Laminou followed 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The Chairman’s Cup eliminations will continue this Friday (April 1) at the same venue. Supremo Lex battles Santa Lucia Realty at 5:00 PM followed by Foton against undefeated pacesetter Mighty Sports at 7:00 PM.
How They Scored:
JUMBO PLASTIC (79) – Viernes 24, Martinez 20, Eguilos 10, Santos 7, Arellano 6, Taganas 4, Padilla 3, Siruma 3, Perez 2, Ibay 0.
FOTON TOPLANDER (68) – Hernandez 14, Ablaza 12, Ouattara 11, Rivera 11, Reyes 9, Gomez 7, Nacpil 4, Moraga 0, Enriquez 0.
Period Scores: 12-21, 32-29, 58-53, 79-68.
BIYAHENG SCTEX (69) – Raymundo 16, Soyud 13, Pangilinan 12, Hermida 9, Batino 5, Aguara 5, Vitug 4, del Rosario 3, Villarias 2, Calomot 0, Reyes 0.
SUPREMO LEX-OLFU (62) – Jamon 14, Laminou 13, Acidre 12, Villamin 7, Brana 6, Montuano 5, Cabrera 3, Leynes 2, Juanico 0, Marquez 0, Importante 0.
Period Scores: 19-13, 37-28, 69-62.