MARIKINA CITY – Euro-Med Laboratories scored a major victory in its 2016 Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) Chairman’s Cup campaign by downing no less than tournament leader Mighty Sports, 87-73, in continuing action Wednesday (April 27) at the Marikina Sports Center. Rising to 6-5, the victory kept alive Euro-Med’s chances of clinching an outright berth in next month’s semifinals.
After barely surviving a very physical and emotional first half, 47-45, Euro-Med opened the third period with back-to-back triples from Lester Alvarez, Jeff Tajonera knocking a triple of his own and Ola Adeogun asserting his height and heft advantage down low, completing a three-point play for their biggest lead of the contest, 63-47. Mighty tried to come back with Kevin Ferrer hitting back-to-back triples entering the final two minutes to threaten, 73-83, but this was immediately negated by an Adeogun dunk that sealed the deal for Euro-Med.
Playing without team leader Kiefer Ravena who watched from the bench in street clothes, Mighty actually led by as much as 11 markers in the second period, 38-27, but Euro-Med made their move with Eliud Poligrates hitting 11 of his team-high 23 points to turn the tide in their favor. Adeogun finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds as Euro-Med avenged their 63-81 defeat to Mighty last March 13 in Malolos City.
“My pre-game challenge to them was that if they want to play in the pro league, they have to beat Mighty because these are the same players that will challenge them for roster spots,” said Coach Yong Garcia. “At halftime, I settled down the team and told them to focus on our game plan and stop complaining to the referees and it was then that I saw in their faces that they really wanted to win.”
Adeogun proved to be the a big presence on both offense and defense as he limited PCBL scoring leader Bright Akhuetie to only 10 points and 10 rebounds. Arvie Bringas came off the bench to pace Mighty with 13 points and seven rebounds while Ferrer had eight of his 12 points in the final period as they absorbed their second loss in 11 games but are already assured of the first outright semifinal slot.
In the first game, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum Giants put one hand on the other remaining semis spot with a 75-46 razing of Supremo Lex Builders-OLFU. The Giants improved to 7-4 while the Builders extended their record losing streak after winning their opening assignment.
“We want to avoid complications so we went all out for the win today,” said Coach Stevenson Tiu. “The important thing is that we hold our destiny in our own hands and we do not need to rely on the fortune or misfortune of others.”
The Giants face Santa Lucia Realty (5-6) on the final day of the elimination round next Wednesday (May 4) and a win will guarantee them the second seeding. Breathing down the Giants’ necks are Biyaheng SCTEX (6-4) and Euro-Med (6-5) with the possibility of a tie or even a three-way tie looming.
Jumbo Plastic met a flat-starting Supremo Lex unit beset with player absences and injuries and ran away with the first period, 19-10. So unrelenting were the Giants that they held the Builders scoreless for the first seven minutes of the fourth period resulting in their biggest lead, 73-37.
Tristan Perez and Moustapha Arafat showed the way for the Giants with 11 points each as Coach Tiu gave more playing time to his role players in preparation for the playoffs. Jay-R Taganas had nine points and grabbed 12 rebounds in 22 minutes of action.
No Builder scored in double figures. The trio of Mark Brana, Miguel Brian Cabrera and Mark Montuano topped Supremo Lex with nine points each.
The penultimate day of the elimination round will be this Friday (April 29) at Marikina City. Supremo Lex hopes to end its losing streak against the team they last defeated, Foton Toplander, at 5:00 PM followed by the crucial meeting between Euro-Med and Biyaheng SCTEX at 7:00 PM.
How They Scored:
JUMBO PLASTIC (75) – Perez 11, Arafat 11, Eguilos 9, Martinez 9, Taganas 9, Viernes 7, Bitoon 6, Ibay 5, Arellano 4, Siruma 4, Lopez 0, Santos 0.
SUPREMO LEX-OLFU (46) – Cabrera 9, Brana 9, Montuano 9, Albano 4, Jamon 4, Gozum 4, Datu 3, Bargola 2, Villamin 2, Olondriz 0, Acidre 0.
Period Scores: 19-10, 40-25, 59-37, 75-46.
EURO-MED (87) – Poligrates 23, Adeogun 21, Tajonera 10, Alvarez 7, Salcedo 6, Capacio 6, Saitanan 5, Custodio 3, Salamat 3, Llagas 2, Almario 1, Galanza 0.
MIGHTY SPORTS (73) – A. Bringas 13, Ferrer 12, Banal 11, Akhuetie 10, Lopez 8, M. Bringas 8, Montilla 5, Tang 4, Celada 2, Mangahas 0, Regalado 0, Melocoton 0, Wongchuking 0.
Period Scores: 22-23, 47-45, 67-57, 87-73.