QUEZON CITY – Jayson Ibay completed a miraculous four-point play with 1.8 seconds left and complete Jumbo Plastic’s monumental comeback over Euro-Med Laboratories, 75-72, in a meeting of the two hottest teams of the Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) Chairman’s Cup Wednesday (April 20) at the Jesus Christ Saves Global Outreach Gym. Earlier in the day, Biyaheng SCTEX bamboozled Supremo Lex Builders-OLFU, 80-66.
Euro-Med was nursing a three-point lead with nine seconds to go when Stephen Siruma fouled Eric Salamat. With the chance to secure the win, Salamat crumbled under pressure and missed both free throws, forcing him to foul Allan Santos in the ensuing rebound scuffle.
The lull allowed the Linoleum Giants to regroup and set up their final play. The Euro-Med defense swarmed on the Giants’ known gunners and a suddenly open Ibay was spotted at the right corner, sinking the triple plus a free throw off a Ralph Salcedo foul, 73-72.
Euro-Med then threw the ball away and Jeff Alvin Viernes was promptly fouled, sinking both charities for the final count. “He was playing well the whole game so I put him (Ibay) back for the final play as a reward,” said Coach Stevenson Tiu.
Ibay, a many-time NAASCU Mythical Five awardee with Saint Clare College and University of Manila, drilled in a total of 15 points after averaging 1.1 in his first nine games. Viernes, his teammate at UM, followed with 14 points on top of four rebounds and four assists.
Making the win more remarkable was the fact that Jumbo Plastic played all-Filipino after import Moustapha Arafat was sidelined due to severe swollen gums. The Linoleum Giants thus improved to 6-4 and stretched their winning streak to three games while Euro-Med ended their winning run at four games for a 4-5 win-loss card.
Ola Adeogun matched his PCBL personal record of 22 points to go with nine rebounds. Lester Alvarez backed him up with 11 while Pari Llagas added 10 markers.
Biyaheng SCTEX used a pair of crippling 16-0 runs to turn the game wide open and push the Builders on the brink of elimination. Only the last placer will not advance to next month’s playoffs.
The Builders had a good start by taking the first period, 20-16, but the Road Warriors went on the score the second period’s first 16 points and never looked back, 32-20. The Builders recovered a bit to threaten several times but SCTEX’s second 16-0 run in the third period settled the outcome early, 56-37.
“As we play more games, our team’s chemistry is constantly improving,” said Coach Adonis Tierra. “Our goal is still to get one of the top two spots and an outright berth in the semifinals.”
The Road Warriors zoomed to solo third place in the standings with a 5-4 record. With their eighth loss in a row, the 1-8 Builders have no recourse but to sweep their remaining three games against Santa Lucia, Jumbo and Foton to entertain any chance of advancing.
Byron Villarias and Steve Akomo shared scoring honors for SCTEX with 14 markers each and Akomo grabbing 11 rebounds. Also hitting 10 points were Borgie Hermida and Christopher Sumalinog.
Martin Gozum scored all of his 14 points in the fourth quarter to pace the Builders. Mark Brana was the next highest pointer with only nine points.
The games return to the Marikina Sports Center on Friday (April 22) with Euro-Med aiming to bounce back by playing Foton at 5:00 PM. In the main game at 7:00 PM, Segundo “Bong” de la Cruz will make his debut as Santa Lucia’s new head coach when they tackle Supremo Lex-OLFU.
How They Scored:
BIYAHENG SCTEX (80) – Villarias 14, Akomo 14, Hermida 10, Sumalinog 10, Pangilinan 9, Batino 8, Esmeria 5, Soyud 5, Susaya 3, Vitug 2, Raymundo 0, del Rosario 0, Reyes 0.
SUPREMO LEX-OLFU (66) – Gozum 14, Brana 9, Leynes 8, Laminou 6, Jamon 6, Juanico 5, Marquez 5, Montuano 4, Villamin 3, Olondriz 2, Acidre 2, Datu 2, Cabrera 0, Importante 0.
Period Scores: 16-20, 36-32, 62-41, 80-66.
JUMBO PLASTIC (75) – Ibay 15, Viernes 14, Eguilos 8, Martinez 7, Bitoon 7, Siruma 6, Santos 5, Arellano 5, Taganas 4, Perez 4.
EURO-MED (72) – Adeogun 22, Alvarez 11, Llagas 10, Custodio 9, Almario 5, Galanza 5, Salamat 5, Saitanan 3, Poligrates 2, Salcedo 0, Tajonera 0, Parala 0.
Period Scores: 14-20, 41-39, 52-53, 75-72.