Free throws conversion helped Playboy and Looban thwart their separate foes in the DLX/Gualo Rai Invitational Basketball League over the weekend at the Gualo Rai Basketball Court.
In last Saturday's curtain-raiser, JR Barrios canned two crucial charities to lead Playboy to a 54-53 win over Mawati, while Kevin De Leon also made a pair to secure Looban's 69-65 triumph over 360 Church in last Friday's opening match.
Barrios drilled the pressure-packed free throws in the last five seconds of the match to give Playboy its first win in the league. Playboy played only its second game last weekend, as its debut match over MBI two weeks ago was rained-out, while Mawati dropped to a 0-2 record to share the last spot in the nine-team Pool A with Hip Hop Thunder.
Barrios trooped to the line for the important charities after drawing a foul from Francis Serrano. Giving up the foul was a bad decision, as Mawati was still ahead, 53-52, and Barrios was too far away from the basket (at the left sideline just past midcourt) with the clock ticking down when Serrano reached in trying to tap the ball out.
After Barrios hit both charities, Mawati called a timeout, but failed to cash in on the last play when RJ Nonato's heave from the 3-point area bounced off the back iron of the rim.
Barrios top-scored for Playboy with 12 markers, making 7 of them in the payoff canto and matching Mawati's total output. Playboy outgunned Mawati, 17-7, to recover from a 37-46 third quarter deficit.
Mawati had the game in control in the first three quarters and even led by double-digits at halftime, 36-24, but played too complacent in the second halt to absorb its second straight loss.
360 Church was also in the driver's seat after the third period before collapsing in the fourth, allowing Looban to improve to a 2-0 record. 360 Church dropped to a 1-1 card.
De Leon led Looban's come-from-behind win, as he scored the team's last 5 points, including the final two free throws than ensured their win.
Looban was down by 7, 45-58, entering the fourth canto, when De Leon teamed up with Joy Dayrit in bringing their squad back into the game and pulling off the 4-point win. Deleon drained 12 of his game-high 26 markers in the fourth period, while Dayrit fired 8 of his 14 in that quarter to keep Looban's perfect record and put the team in a tie for the lead in Pool B with Anjie's Boys.
Playboy 54 - Barrios 12, Palacios 9, Borja 7, Isip 7, Macahito 4, Gonzales 4, Feria 4, Manangan 2, Hockett 2.
Mawati 53 - Reyes 14, Nonato 11, Serrano 10, Dela Cruz 5, Ibanez 5, Avila 3, Corotan 2, Tenepere 2.
Scoring by quarters: 12-20, 24-36, 37-46, 54-53.
Looban 69 - De Leon 26, Dayrit 14, Tabamo 12, Loste 5, Montano 4, Quiambao 2.
360 Church 65 - Lutrell 15, Wood 13, Basa 11, Buniag 8, Chavez 6, Capuyon 5, Buenabajo 3, Diaz 2.
Scoring by quarters: 15-17, 29-34, 45-58, 69-65.