MARIKINA CITY – An inspired Santa Lucia Realty kept its title drive alive by trouncing favored Biyaheng SCTEX, 77-67, and force a deciding Game Three in their quarterfinal series for the 2016 Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) Chairman’s Cup Sunday (May 8) at the Marikina Sports Center. The return of original import Landry Sanjo from injury gave the Realtors the much-needed inside presence, something they missed when they played all-Filipino in Game One last Friday which they lost, 72-77.
With Sanjo starting at center after sitting out 10 straight games, Santa Lucia jumped to an 11-2 advantage behind the six points of Ivan Camasura and hits from Jerald Bautista and Wowie Escosio. From there, the Realtors displayed good lead management skills, allowing the Road Warriors to pull ahead only once, 20-19, in the second period on a Raul Soyud three-point play.
Well in control, Santa Lucia then went for the knockout blow as Jett Vidal blasted three triples to give the Realtors their biggest lead of the game with five minutes left in the fourth, 66-53. SCTEX countered with back-to-back baskets by Christopher Sumalinog and AJ Vitug but it was quickly negated by a free throw and a triple from Paolo Javelona, 73-57, and nearing the two-minute warning.
“We were able to show that we can beat SCTEX because Game One was decided only by the breaks,” said Coach Joseph Gumatay. “Sanjo’s return really improved our defense and I saw today the desire of the players to win.”
Bautista led all scorers with 15 points on top of four rebounds and two assists. Sanjo tallied 10 points and nine rebounds while Escosio also had 10 points to go with six rebounds.
Alfred Batino topped the Road Warriors with 13 points, four rebounds and three assists. Soyud was next with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Game Three will be played at Marikina on May 11 (Wednesday) starting at 5:00 PM. The winner will go on to play second seed and outright semifinalist Jumbo Plastic in another best-of-three series.
How They Scored:
SANTA LUCIA (77) – Bautista 15, Escosio 10, Sanjo 10, Vidal 9, Salado 9, Camasura 8, Javelona 7, Bangga 5, Castanarez 2, Ilagan 2, Jamito 0.
BIYAHENG SCTEX (67) – Batino 13, Soyud 10, del Rosario 9, Vitug 8, Villarias 8, Sumalinog 7, Akomo 6, Pangilinan 6, Calomot 0, Raymundo 0, Reyes 0.
Period Scores: 17-15, 37-34, 54-48, 77-67.