Defending champion Fiesta Resort and Spa opened the second round of the 2012 Tan Holdings Inter-Company Basketball League with a big win, pulling off an upset over league-leading Shirley's Coffee Shop, 85-84, last Saturday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium of the TSL Sports Complex.
Elmer Esdrelon made the winning basket for Fiesta in the closing seconds to hand Shirley's its first loss in six games. Fiesta improved to a 2-4 record.
Shirley's had the lead for the last time at the 84-83 tally after Rommel Usi canned a triple and with about 6 seconds remaining on the clock, Esdrelon escaped with a layup to grab the lead. Shirley's was then left with about two seconds to pull up for the shot, but failed to do so, ending its winning run in the six-team field.
After the loss, Saipan Tribune learned Shirley's complained on the alleged failure of the table officials to press the clock after Usi's triple. However, game officials stood by with the results and Fiesta kept the win, as Shirley's did not formally place the game under protest.
Fiesta stole the victory despite falling behind by as much as 19 points in the second quarter. Shirley's was in control of the match in the first half after capitalizing on the absence of Esdrelon, who just started playing in the third period. The Fiesta top gunner went on to score 28 points in the second half to lift his team to the one-point win.
JP Centre 78, POI 58
In the first game, JP Centre snapped its two-game losing streak after beating POI in the first game.
JP Centre drew double figures from five players to move up to a 3-3 record, while POI fell to a 2-4 card. John March Ong paced JP Centre with his 22 points, Mark Rabago added 12, and Ferdie de la Torre, Rowel Caduan, and Dino Valdez chipped in 10 each.
After taking a 22-17 advantage at the end of the first period, JP Centre opened a double-digit lead at halftime, 39-25, as it held POI to 8 points. JP Centre padded the lead in the last three quarters, as it continued to get contributions from every player it fielded in the game.
Kanoa Resort 70, CTSI/D&Q 68
In the second game, Kanoa Resort edged CTSI/D&Q.
Leonard Sablan made the crucial points for Kanoa Resort, scoring the team's last 4 markers. Sablan went on to finish with 17 markers to back up the 18 of John Guerrero, Ryan Manglona and Dindo Pablo logged 15 and 14, respectively.
CTSI/D&Q was without its key player, Jack Lizama, but Edong Echavez stepped up, drilling 10 points in the first period to give the team a 24-17 advantage.
However, CTSI/D&Q failed to sustain its momentum and was limited to 9 points in the second period, allowing Kanoa Resort to grab the upper hand, 39-33. Four different Kanoa players lit up the scoreboard in the second canto to wrestle the driver's seat and it kept the lead in the second half with Sablan teaming up with Ryan Manglona and John Guerrero on offense.
JP Centre 78 - Ong 22, Rabago 12, Valdez 10, de la Torre 10, Caduan 10, Moran 4, Angeles 4.
POI 58 - Mejia 18, Arago 14, Indalecio 10, Camacho 6, Esteves 4, Iglecias 4.
Scoring by quarters: 22-17, 39-28, 53-43, 78-58.
Kanoa Resort 70 - Guerrero 18, Sablan 17, Manglona 15, Pablo 14, de Leon 4, Ada 2.
CTSI/D&Q 68 - Echavez 12, Jinang 11, Eliesar 10, Mendiola 10, Piteg 8, Canchero 5, Shai 4, Alcantara 2, Salazar 2.
Scoring by quarters: 17-24, 39-33, 57-49, 70-68.
Fiesta 85 - Esdrelon 28, Macoto 13, Galag 12, Solito 7, Villamena 6, Reyes 4, Quizon 3.
Shirley's Coffee Shop 84 - Yap 24, Usi 15, Sedillo 15, Dela Rosa 12, Catungal 4, Laxa 4.
Scoring by quarters: 11-21, 35-50, 60-67, 85-84.