MARIKINA CITY – Displaying uncanny aggression and spunk, Jumbo Plastic secured the second championship berth for the 2016 Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) Chairman’s Cup after destroying Santa Lucia Realty, 70-56, Friday evening (May 20) at the Marikina Sports Center. The Linoleum Giants ended the best-of-three series, 2-1, and will now face the waiting top seeded Mighty Sports in another best-of-three series for the title beginning this Sunday (May 22) at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center starting at 6:00 PM.
“We lost Game Two because we were simply outhustled,” said Coach Stevenson Tiu. “Therefore, we remedied that by making Santa Lucia work for their shots.”
The Jumbo Plastic choking defense both under the basket and at the perimeter resulted in easy scores. Starters Jaymo Eguilos and Jay-R Taganas combined for 10 points as they easily grabbed the first period, 20-12.
Santa Lucia never got a chance to taste the lead, deadlock the count or even threaten. Taganas continued to bully the much bigger and beefier Realtor big men as he ended up with 13 points and 15 rebounds.
Jeff Alvin Viernes, who battled the flu in the first two games of the series, came off the bench to score all his eight markers in the second period. There was no stopping Jumbo Plastic’s rampage as they took the half, 44-28.
The Linoleum Giants enjoyed their biggest margin of 21 points early in the fourth on a three-point play by Taganas, 66-45. The defense managed to hold Santa Lucia without a three-pointer – a big factor considering that it was three-point shooting that killed Jumbo Plastic in Game Two.
“We will enter the finals with a big psychological boost from this win plus we were able to give Mighty Sports one of their two losses in the tournament,” added Coach Tiu. Mighty Sports came from behind to beat Jumbo Plastic,79-70, on opening day (March 6) but the Linoleum Giants exacted payback, 74-73, in their rematch last April 15.
The bull-strong Taganas got ample support from James Martinez and Mark Lopez with nine points each. Eguilos, Viernes and Moustapha Arafat followed with eight points each to show Jumbo Plastic’s balanced attack.
Landry Sanjo had his best offensive output of the tournament with 17 points on top of eight rebounds but the effort went to naught. Jerald Bautista was the only other Realtor in twin figures with 10 points.
Game Two of the championship series will be on Wednesday (May 25) at Marikina City which will be preceded by the battle for Third Place between the Realtors and Euro-Med Laboratories. In between games, the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and other individual awardees will be honored in simple rites.
How They Scored:
JUMBO PLASTIC (70) – Taganas 13, Lopez 9, Martinez 9, Eguilos 8, Viernes 8, Arafat 8, Santos 6, Siruma 5, Ibay 4, Arellano 0.
SANTA LUCIA (56) – Sanjo 17, Bautista 10, Salado 7, Javelona 6, Escosio 4, Ilagan 4, Camasura 2, Vidal 2, Castanarez 2, Bangga 2, Jamito 0, Gabriel 0.
Period Scores: 20-12, 44-28, 56-43, 70-56.