Loving Hands swept Docomo Red in their best-of-three series over the weekend to capture the U17 championship in Docomo Pacific's 3rd Summer Youth Basketball League.
The champion team is composed of Bryl Alegre, Jack Aranda, Jaymark Deguzman, Scott Escalada, Emerson Feria, Richard Hofschneider, Mike Ito, Jun Javier, Renan Lansang, Martin Ramos, Nevin Salem, and Jed Villanueva.
Loving Hands pulled off a big 50-48 comeback win in Game 1 last Saturday afternoon at the Garapan Basketball and came into the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium with a chip on its shoulder yesterday morning en route to ending the short series with a 46-36 victory in Game 2.
The series started with Docomo Red building a promising 25-15 lead at intermission, off Daryl Suarez's baskets, however Loving Hands bit down in the second frame and rallied its way back into the game.
Suarez gained 18 points in the first half, but was scoreless in the second. On the other hand, Jack Aranda and Jaymark De Guzman took over the scoring in the second half for Loving Hands and they combined for 25 points.
Aranda went on to finish with 15 points to lead Loving Hands, which carried the momentum of its Game 1 win in last Sunday's series clincher.
Nevin Salem fired 10 points at the start of Game 2 to give Loving Hands a 23-21 advantage at halftime.
Docomo remained afloat after John Darag matched Salem's output in the first half. However, Darag was held to 6 points in the second half, while Aranda and Bryle Alegre teamed up for 15 in the payoff period, as Loving Hands coasted to the title win.
Docomo Red ran out of gas late in the game and simply could not hustle up and down the court competitively. Darag did all he could to spark a comeback, but was factored out of the equation and no one stepped up to fill the void.
Alegre and Salem turned in a dual effort of 23 points, while Darag managed 16 on the bottom side.
Meanwhile, the deciding Game 3 of the U25 finals showdown between Shottas and R-Rebels will be played this Wednesday at 5:30pm in Garapan.
Loving Hands 50 - Aranda 15, De Guzman 14, Feria 10, Alegre 4, Hofschneider 2, Salem 2, Ramos 1.
Docomo Red 48 - Suarez 18, Dela Rosa 14, Darag 13, Manibusan 1, Bai 1.
Scoring by halves: 15-25, 50-48
Loving Hands 46 - Alegre 12, Salem 11, Aranda 7, Feria 7, Villanueva 4, Ramos 3, De Guzman 2.
Docomo Red 36 - Darag 16, Dela Rosa 10, Manibusan 4, Caro 3, Suarez 2, Bai 1.
Scoring by halves: 23-21, 46-36.