Top-ranked Pacific Islands Club lived up to its lofty billing, beating Fong's Bakery, 95-85, in the second playoff game in the 2012 Emon Lodge 179 Basketball League-Docomo Brotherhood Cup last Saturday at Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
Big men Darwin Barbo and Bart Demapan made up for their poor showing in their last game in the regular season, scoring 25 points each against Fong's to give PIC the second semis seat. The two PIC frontliners, who had only 8 points apiece in their disappointing 60-97 defeat at the hands of Hi-Five, combined for 14 of their 31 points in the fourth quarter to thwart Fong's bid for an upset.
Fong's Bakery was clearly the underdog in the second playoff pairing, but it kept its playoff hopes alive in the first half behind the 3-point shooting of Sonny Lerio and Lerio Pagarao. Fong's drew eight triples from its two gunners, while James Abuy canned only a pair for PIC, which still enjoyed a 6-point lead at the break, 51-45, before Fong's threatened a comeback in the third canto.
PIC then called Barbo and Demapan for help in the fourth, as the last-seeded Fong's Bakery gave the former quite a scare in the third period, moving within two, 62-64. Pagarao and Maui Black fired 6 points apiece, while Lerio chipped in 5 to keep Fong's in contention, with still one full quarter to go.
Brett Sutton then opened the fourth period with back-to-back baskets and Barbo and Demapan picked up from where the former left off, combining for the next 12 points of PIC and adding 4 more markers each in the homestretch. Abuy also made it to the scoreboard for PIC in the fourth, contributing 7 en route to their 10-point win.
Fong's slowly lost the game in the fourth, as it had only Black trying to keep up with Barbo and company, while on offense, Pagarao and Lerio were held to only one field goal apiece in the payoff period.
Pagarao and Lerio went on to top-score for the eliminated Fong's Bakery with their 27 points each and adding Black's 14 markers, the team still feel 2 points short of the 70 markers Barbo, Sutton, and Demapan poured in for PIC. Abuy's 15 points also spelled the difference in the second playoff match.
Meanwhile, next up for PIC is the winner of Hi-Five-Oceanside Bar/Hoopaholics playoff tiff, which was played last night. The other semis pairing will have Mobil challenging the victory of the Archers-Brabu/Ashley's game, which also took place last night. The two semis games are set for tomorrow, while the winner-take-all finals will be played this Saturday.
PIC 95 - Barbo 25, Demapan 25, Sutton 20, Abuy 15, Sublemente 5, Abuel 2.
Fong's Bakery 85 - Pagarao 27, Lerio 27, Black 14, De Leon 7, Catalla 3, Metran 2, Caro 2, Diaz 2.
Scoring by quarters: 22-14, 51-45, 64-62, 95-85.