MARIKINA CITY – Euro-Med Laboratories once again banked on superior plays from new reinforcements Eliud Poligrates and Lester Alvarez to hack out a 97-87 victory over Supremo Lex Builders-OLFU in continuing action from the 2016 Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) Chairman’s Cup at the Marikina Sports Center. After losing their first four games, Euro-Med is now on a two-game winning run and rose all the way from last place to fifth place in the seven-team field.
In only his second game in a Euro-Med jersey, Poligrates exploded for 14 of his 21 points in the fourth period to turn the contest into a blowout. His two free throws at the four-minute mark gave Euro-Med the first of several 14-point leads which they maintained until the final buzzer.
Hoping to snap out of their four-game losing skid, the Builders started strong and took the first half, 51-49, behind baskets from Hamadou Laminou, Joseph Marquez, Rocky Acidre and playing coach Don Villamin. Supremo seized great momentum as seldom-used Erwin Bargola gave them the upper hand with a stab at the buzzer.
However, the Builders failed to sustain their attack as Eric Salamat and Alvarez keyed a 12-2 run in the third canto that gave Euro-Med a 68-66 advantage that they never relinquished. Mark Brana countered by knotting the count for the last time, 68-68, but this was quickly shattered by a Salamat triple, 71-68.
Alvarez and Adeogun followed Poligrates for scoring honors with 17 points each. Adeogun started strong with 11 points in the first period but foul trouble kept him on the bench for long stretches but still managed to grab 11 rebounds.
“I took this job with Euro-Med as a challenge because basketball is my passion,” said Alvarez who was named as the game’s Best Player. “I want to prove that I can still play and return to the PBA.”
Laminou paced the Builders with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Marquez was the only other Builder in twin digits with 15 points as Acidre and Villamin went scoreless in the second half as they fell to 1-5 and solo occupancy of the bottom of the standings.
In the main game, Santa Lucia Realty halted the three-game winning streak of Biyaheng SCTEX, 85-72. The Realtors achieved their first back-to-back wins of the tournament and shot up to second place in the standings at 4-2 while relegating the Road Warriors to third spot at 3-2.
Mark Romero came off the bench to hit three unanswered triples and give Santa Lucia the lead for good, 30-24. The Realtors displayed good lead management skills as the Road Warriors never recovered.
Despite a late scoring binge from Alfred Batino, the Realtors built their biggest lead of the game in the fourth period, 78-62, on free throws from Kent Salado. Solid free throw shooting down the stretch preserved the win.
“Even if we are now in second place, we still have a lot of work to do,” said Coach Boni Garcia. “All those teams behind us can easily overtake us if we are not careful.”
The Realtors once again drew a powerful performance from Jam Jamito as he dominated with 19 points and nine rebounds. Romero followed with 12 of his 15 from the three-point line while Prince Eze was a rock on defense with 12 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
Byron Villarias was the high man for the Road Warriors with 17 markers. Raul Soyud had his fourth double-double in as many games with 16 points and 18 rebounds, 10 of those coming from the offensive end.
The Road Warriors will wrap up the first round schedule this Friday (April 8) against undefeated tournament leader Mighty Sports at 5:00 PM at Marikina. The second game at 7:00 PM marks the start of second round play with the rematch between Foton Toplander and Jumbo Plastic.
How They Scored:
EURO-MED (97) – Poligrates 21, Adeogun 17, Alvarez 17, Salamat 15, Saitanan 7, Almario 6, Llagas 6, Capacio 5, Tajonera 3, Galanza 0, Custodio 0.
SUPREMO LEX-OLFU (87) – Laminou 20, Marquez 15, Brana 9, Montuano 9, Acidre 8, Jamon 8, Villamin 7, Juanico 4, Importante 3, Bargola 2, Cabrera 2, Albano 0, Leynes 0.
Period Scores: 24-27, 49-51, 73-70, 97-87.
SANTA LUCIA (85) – Jamito 14, Romero 15, Eze 12, Bautista 8, Salado 7, Escosio 6, Javelona 5, Cawaling 5, Bangga 4, Vidal 3, Camasura 1, Castanarez 0, Ilagan 0.
BIYAHENG SCTEX (72) – Villarias 17, Soyud 16, Batino 14, Hermida 9, Pangilinan 6, Raymundo 4, del Rosario 4, Aguara 2, Vitug 0, Reyes 0.
Period Scores: 18-18, 40-33, 64-51, 85-72.