Mobil marched into the semifinals of the 2012 Emon Lodge 179 Basketball League-Docomo Brotherhood Cup after dominating Armatech, 95-73, in the first playoff game last Saturday at Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
The early collision of the inaugural season's finalists saw Mobil consistently throwing jabs in the first three quarters before unleashing the killer punches midway in the fourth frame to oust Armatech.
Armatech missed a return trip to the finals, as it fought Mobil only to stay in the game and never showed an effort to pull off an upset against its second-seeded foe. A relatively different roster from the one that brought the team to the finals in 2010 made it hard for Armatech to advance further this time. Only Elmer Esdrelon, Bruce Berline, and Junar Guiab were part of the original roster and the trio had a tough time jelling with their new teammates.
In contrast, Mobil paraded almost the same lineup and made additions that helped the team eliminate Armatech. Banjo Basila, Errol Peredo, Badong Camacho, and Angelo Fernando are among the new recruits and the quartet combined for 32 points to back up holdovers Marvin Rabauliman, Joemary Tumaquip, Jun Estolas, and Gyles Ruluked, who all scored in double digits.
Rabauliman paced Mobil with his 20 points, making 8 of them in the opening canto to give his team a 24-21 lead. Armatech played its best game in the first period, as eight different players contributed on offense to keep Mobil within striking distance.
However, in the last three quarters, there was no Armatech player who really stepped up to anchor the team's so-so offense, allowing Mobil to keep control of the match with Rabauliman and company showing chemistry to produce baskets in streaks.
Armatech made one final push to launch a comeback early in the fourth when it cut Mobil's lead from 17 to 10, 58-68, however, Camacho and Rabauliman teamed up for a 10-0 run to end the one-sided bout.
Jawn Joyner led Armatech's losing cause with his 23 points, but most of them came when Mobil had already let its guard down. Berline was the only other double figure scorer for Armatech with his 15 markers, while Esdrelon was held to 8 and was without a field goal in the final canto. Guiab also struggled, nailing only 4 points. The rest of Armatech's bench totaled only 20 markers against the 30 of Mobil.
Meanwhile, top-ranked Pacific Islands Club dueled the last-seeded Fong's Bakery in the second playoff game last weekend, but the score sheets of the match were unavailable at press time and results will be reported in Saipan Tribune's Wednesday edition.
Two more quarterfinals games will be played tonight to determine the semis cast. Brabu/Ashley faces the Archers at 6:30pm with the winner meeting Mobil in the first semis game on Thursday. Then in the second match tonight at 8pm, Hi-Five squares off against the Hoops with the victor challenging the winner of the PIC-Fong's tiff in the second semis pairing on Thursday.
Mobil 95 - Rabauliman 20, Peredo 13, Tumaquip 12, Ruluked 11, Estolas 11, Basila 8, Camacho 6, Fernando 5, Abuan 2, Galzote 2, Gapor 1.
Armatech 73 - Joyner 23, Berline 11, Esdrelon 8, Montano 8, Trajano 4, Guiab 4, Moreno 4, Tobias 2, Ja. Ano 2.
Scoring by quarters: 24-21, 44-39, 64-53, 96-73.