MDX/Armatech recovered from an early deficit to slip past Hi-Five, 55-52, in the lone game in the U14 division of the 2012 UFO Docomo Pacific Cup last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
With the win and its 3-1 record, MDX/Armatech now holds the temporary lead in the youth league, one victory ahead of SMF/DYS (2-1). Hi-Five, which will play SMF/DYS in its last game in the regular season this Saturday, is still winless after three games.
MDX/Armatech fell behind by as much as 11, but bounced back in the fourth quarter and stole the win after holding Hi-Five to only two field goals in the final canto. Hi-Five was scoreless for more than five minutes in the fourth and had several chances of regaining the lead in the last 1:52 of the game, but wasted them.
A basket from Marvin Deocares finally put MDX/Armatech in the lead, 53-52, going into the final two minutes of the match. Hi-Five tried to regain the lead in the ensuing plays, but simply could not buy baskets, even the point-blank shots. Hi-Five missed its last six attempts since MDX/Armatech grabbed the lead and was forced to give up fouls to stop the clock in the last one minute.
Since Hi-Five was not yet in the penalty mark, MDX/Armatech was just given possessions in the final minute and then sealed the win in the last 10.3 seconds when Deocares found Dicky Feria open at the paint for the underneath basket.
Feria finished in double figures with 10, just two points behind MDX/Armatech top-scorer Art Borromeo. Deocares added six.
Jethro Cruz had 12 markers for Hi-Five, which led by 11 after the first period, 22-11, and kept the driver's seat in the next two quarters before folding up in the payoff canto.
MDX/Armatech outgunned Hi-Five in the fourth frame, 12-4, with Francisco and Feria combining for eight points.
Bayani/LBT 101, Batangas 70
In the final regular season game in the 2012 UFO Masters Budweiser Cup last Thursday, Bayani/LBT Appraisel walloped Batangas/Fong's Bakery.
Bayani finished the round-robin league with a 4-1 record and earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs, joining the undefeated MDX/Armatech (5-0). Batangas fell to fourth place (2-4) and will duel VisMinda/Civic Boys (1-4) in the win or go home playoff round. Laguna/Twinkle/Erika's (3-2) and MAFEA/CMI (0-5) complete the playoff cast and will also collide in the first round of the playoffs set for July 1.
Bayani took early control of the lopsided match, as it went ahead, 26-14, after the first period. Ed Cosino and Jack Palacios teamed up in Bayani's hot start with the former scoring 10 and the latter adding 8. Cosino went on to nail a game-high 22 points, while Danny Bicera finished what his teammates started, tallying 21. Palacios chipped in 19, while Tony Diaz contributed 15.
Joseph Galulu had 16 points for Batangas, which failed to match Bayani's offensive firepower with the absence of Jun Abedes and Amor Casabuena.
MDX/Armatech 55 - Borromeo 12, Feria 10, Francisco 10, Deocares 6, Ogasawara 4, Amog 4, Cudia 3, Malasarte 2.
Hi-Five 52 - J. Cruz 12, Hernandez 11, Francisco 8, Cristobal 4, Mercene 4, Wang 3, Pangelinan 3, Diyco 2, C. Cruz 2.
Scoring by quarters: 11-22, 28-33, 43-48, 55-52.
Bayani/LBT 101 - Cosino 22, Bicera 21, Ja. Palacios 19, Diaz 16, F. Palacios 7, Tiples 6, Santos 6, Sahagun 2.
Batangas/Fong's Bakery 70 - Galulu 1, Alejandro 12, Gatdula 12, Buniag, Alano 8, Puno 6, Bernardo 6, Jacob 4.
Scoring by quarters: 26-14, 55-30, 73-46, 101-70.