Bandits defeated Ol'Aces, 82-74, in Group B and Cargo Express coasted past Yuichiro Electric, 84-76, in a Group C as the 3rd Blue Haus Invitational Basketball League continued last Saturday at the Garapan Basketball Court.
Meanwhile, Group C's Hite and Group A's Angie's Boys each bagged their first win this past Thursday. The former defeated Yuman Construction, 64-58, while the latter squeaked past the Rollers Basketball Club's Rollers, 89-88.
Pool play concluded over the weekend and the elimination games start tonight in Garapan at 6:30pm and 8pm.
In Saturday's opener, Ol'Aces managed a slim one-possession advantage in the first two periods as Ryan Ichihara and Peter Camacho teamed up for 15 points in the opening exchange that was complemented by a 10-point rush by Elias Rangamar in the second quarter. The latter drained a pair of long-range bombs and logged a team-high dozen markers at midpoint.
Ol'Aces held its opponents to just 13 points in the second frame, but the Bandits were far from finished and saved its energy for the second half.
The Bandits went on to claim the lead, 60-55, heading into the last quarter and had little trouble protecting the ball in the payoff period.
The short-handed Ol'Aces hung around early, but ran out of gas soon after its second quarter charge.
Jomar Tumaquip's 10 points led the Bandits' comeback surge after the break and he co-captained the group with Gil Gapor who provided 8 points of insurance in the final period. Ol'Aces' Ichihara (20) and Rangamar (18) led the box scores with two other teammates in double digits, but the group's lack of depth may have been the deal breaker.
In the late match, Cargo Express exploded to a 25-6 lead in the opening 10 minutes from a dual effort of 15 points by Randy Mungcal and Noel David.
Yuichiro battled back in the second quarter with a trio of 3-pointers that more or less halved the deficit to 28-38 at halftime.
Cargo Express' first line then poured it on again in the third period and amassed a daunting 63-44 separation heading into the last frame. Jun Tabora carried the torch for Cargo Express in the third quarter with 11 points.
Remarkably, Yuichiro actually made up quite a bit of ground in the last hurrah, but the group was still way too far behind to posture a real comeback.
Mungcal edged out his wingman Tabora by a basket and finished with a game-high 25 points across 18 checks by Yuichiro's Jerome Reyes.
Thursday's match between Hite and Yuman was close all the way to the end.
Both teams ended up knotted at 18-all after the opening exchange with Hite accruing its offense from a number of different players. Yuman's L. Iglesias and Andy Mortos carried the group through the first period with 14 points.
Both teams tightened up on defense in the second quarter, as Hite then clung to a wiry, 32-29, lead at the pause.
The rival squads were caught in a second bottleneck at 50-all, after the third period as Yuman's Iglesias heated up for 9 points in effort to ignite a rally.
Hite continued utilizing a well-balanced offensive attack through three quarters and beyond as the group really focused more on defense in the payoff period to get over the hump.
The tactic worked out in the end as Yuman mustered just 8 points in the fourth quarter, while Hite's Ray Babauta came out strong late in the game to close the door.
He splashed in a pair of treys for 8 points in the fourth quarter and finished with a team-high 14, while Yuman's Mortos led all scorers with 18.
In last week's other game, the Rollers grinded out an early 21-19 lead from the tip off a baker's dozen contributed by Ham Hambros and Prince Factor, but it was an even matchup that went back and Angie's Boys swiped the lead at the half, 41-40.
Angie's Boys Angelo Fernando pulled a 5-point string at the start of the second period power forward Eugene Manglona barreled inside for 8 points in the period. Ralph and Wilfredo Francisco also chipped in 3 points from the stripe and a three-ball, respectively.
Angie's Boys preserved a bucket advantage heading into crunch time thanks largely to a combined dozen points from Manglona and Ralph Francisco in the third period.
The Angie's Boys duo hooked up again in the final 10 minutes for 16 points that complemented a 10-point chunk by James Dela Cruz and upstaged an impressive 23-point dual effort by the Rollers' C.J. Morales and Mike Espinosa in the clutch.
In the end it was Angie's Boys' Manglona who shone the brightest with 31points, while Rollers' Hambros scrambled for a team-high 24 in defeat.
Bandits 82 - Tumaquip 16, Gapor 16, Mc. Achas 14, Mi. Achas 13, Odicta 8, Pineda 8, Sablan 7.
Ol'Aces 74 - Ichihara 20, Rangamar 18, Camacho 14, Alfred 12, Teregeyo 8, Fidelino 2.
Scoring by quarters: 22-23, 35-37, 60-55, 82-74.
Cargo Express 84 - Mungcal 25, Tabora 23, David 15, Santos 13, Lerio 8
Yuichiro Electric 76 - Reyes 18, Enriquez 14, Tengco 13, Cultura 12, Fernandez 8, Achas 7, Gomez 4.
Scoring by quarters: 25-6, 38-28, 63-44, 84-76
Hite 64 - Babauta 14, Lauron 12, Z Babauta 12, Tenorio 10, Diaz 6, Vertudez 4, J Camacho 2, Chan 2, Mendoza 2.
Yuman Construction 58 - Mortos 18, Iglesias 17, Tiples 8, Cristobal 5, Galvez 4, Sahagun 4, Ajoste 2.
Scoring by quarters: 18-18, 32-29, 50-50, 64-58.
Angie's Boys 89 - Manglona 31, R. Francisco 21, Dela Cruz 14, Fernando 9, W. Francisco 5, Manalili 5, Yap 4.
RBC Rollers 88 - Hambros 24, Morales 18, Espinosa 16, Malonzo 13, Factor 11, Ano 3, Yap 3.
Scoring by quarters: 19-21, 41-40, 59-57, 89-88.