Saipan Hardware and Loving Hands Daycare each notched victories over separate opponents as the B Division of the Blue Haus Invitational Basketball League continued last Sunday at the Garapan Basketball Court.
Saipan Hardware capped its third win in four games and cut up Cargo Express (2-2), 72-53, in the first pairing, while Loving Hands escaped Wanted Sponsor (1-2), 80-77, in the late feature to also improve to a 3-1 slate.
The season continues in Garapan tomorrow night with A Division play starting at 6pm with DLX (2-1) squaring off against Mobil (1-1) followed by Star Water (0-1) running into QQ Rent-A-Car (3-1) the at 8pm.
The rest of the A Division includes R-Rebels (2-1) and Ashely's (0-3), while the B Division is also made up of NVM (2-1) and Hip Hop Thunder (1-3).
Saipan Hardware's Ray Babauta drained a couple of late 3-pointers in the opening 10 minutes to push his team on front, 16-19, but Cargo Express' Mark Francisco connected with three from long range in the second quarter that helped pull his team to within a basket, 30-32, at halftime. Alex Lauron scored 8 second quarter points to help Saipan Hardware keep its slim lead.
Saipan Hardware buckled down on defense after intermission and held its rival to 10 points in the third quarter, while Lauron added 9 more points that helped them trot ahead, 51-40, heading into the last period.
It was all Saipan Hardware from there as Cargo Express' Francisco was held to just two lofts from downtown in the payoff period.
Lauron led all scorers with 25 points, while Francisco's 18 all came in the form of six threes.
In the late match, Loving Hands sunk three treys in the first quarter for a welcome 23-17 edge and maintained the cushion, 45-39, at halftime thanks to another pair of 3-point bunches from Sonny Lerio and J.R. Barios.
Wanted Sponsor also hit four shots from behind the arc in the first half that went with a dozen markers by power forward Kae Bernardo that kept the group in pursuit.
Wanted Sponsor regrouped at the break and willed its way back into the game, tying it at 52-all heading into the fourth quarter.
However, despite a handful of 3-balls by the team in the clutch, Loving Hands' Marvin Rabauliman delivered 13 big points at crunch time that ultimately crashed the party.
He also chimed in three of his team's six pressure-packed free throws in the late minutes that helped secure the win.
Five other Loving Hands players helped provide support in the fourth quarter effort in addition to holding Bernardo to just 3 points in the last frame.
Though both teams made the points rain Sunday night, lightning struck Loving Hands' Lerio the most. He has been on the mark since early this season and buried four long balls in the game for a game-high 18 points, one-upping teammate Rabauliman and Wanted Sponsor's Bernardo.
Saipan Hardware 72 - Lauron 25, R. Babauta 12, Peredo 8, Z. Babauta 7, Tenorio 7, Quan 5, J. Diaz 2.
Cargo Express 63 - Francisco 18, Sharry 12, Talania 8, Berline 7, Morales 5, Archangel 3.
Scoring by quarters: 16-9, 32-30, 51-40, 72-63.
Loving Hands 80 - Lerio 18, Rabauliman 17, Barios 11, Johannes 8, Gabaldon 8, G. Aquino 7, B. Aquino 7, Tabora 2.
Wanted Sponsor 77 - Bernardo 17, D Sablan 16, Basilla 13, Yabut 9, Capalad 7, Miranda 7, Pantaleon 5, Metran 3.
Scoring by quarters: 23-17, 45-39, 52-52, 80-77.