QQ Rent A Car and Pacific Stars built early leads en route to winning their separate Division A games in the DLX/Anchor Strong Invitational Basketball League last Wednesday night at the Gualo Rai Basketball Court.
QQ erected a double-digit advantage right in the opening canto to beat the Chinatown Kings in the curtain raiser, 81-67, while Pacific Stars/Gualo Rai established a big lead in the first half to down Cellular Pro/Insider in the second match of the night, 80-74.
The victory snapped Pacific Stars' three-game losing skid, while Cellular Pro/Insider absorbed its second loss in three matches. QQ improved to an even 2-2 slate, while the Chinatown Kings fell to a 1-2 card.
QQ had four players scoring at least two field goals each in the first period to enjoy an early twin-digit lead, 18-8. The Chinatown Kings trailed when they were held to four field goals in the opening canto and missed the services of gunner Preston Basa.
Basa was still missing in action in the second canto and QQ went on to pad the lead at the break, 38-24, with Ham Hambros and Jerome Norita combining for 14 of their 20 markers in that period.
Basa reported to the match in the third and connected two triples, but QQ still outgunned its foe, 20-15, to stretch its lead anew. Ben Lisua, who was limited to 2 points in the second canto, helped QQ protect its lead in the third, making 9 markers in that frame.
Down by 19 with only one quarter left, Basa tried to spark a rally for the Chinatown Kings, as he drilled four more treys. However, QQ would not be denied, as it answered back with Hambros leading the team's attack with his 10 markers in the final canto.
Hambos and Lisua top-scored for QQ with their 18 markers apiece.
In the second half, Pacific Stars/Gualo Rai scored at least 20 points in the first two quarters to lead Cellular Pro/Insider in the first half, 46-31, and spoiled the latter's comeback bids after making crucial free throws in the fourth quarter.
Pacific Stars/Gualo Rai earned 9 of its 17 points from the foul line, including the last 4 that sealed its first victory in the seven-team league.
Jun Estolas was credited for five of those nine charities and finished the match with a game-high 29 points. Big men Alex Lauron and Gyles Ruluked chipped in 13 each. Bernard Montano paced Cellular Pro/Insider with his 18 points, while Marlon De Dios added 14, but was held to only 2 points in the fourth and fouled out in the homestretch along with his three other teammates.
QQ Rent A Car 81 - Hambros 18, Lisua 18, Norita 12, Sharry 11, Taylor 6, De Guzman, 2, Abuan 2.
Chinatown Kings 67 - Teregeyo 19, P. Basa 18, Quizon 13, Avilla 6, Acosta 4, William 4, E. Basa 3.
Scoring by quarters: 18-8, 38-24, 58-39, 81-67.
Pacific Stars/Gualo Rai 80 - Estolas 29, Ruluked 13, Lauron 13, Tenorio 17, Babauta 6, Diaz 4, Morales 2, Dayrit 1.
Cellular Pro/Insider 74 - Montano 18, De Dios 14, De Leon 14, Rivera 10, Iglecias 8, Sacramento 4, Loste 2, Mateo 2.
Scoring by quarters: 20-17, 46-33, 63-54, 80-74. (Saipan Tribune)