Chinatown showed poise in the homestretch to pull off a 62-57 victory over Maplas La Mani in the second game in Division B of the 2013 DLX/Anchor Strong Invitational Basketball League last Wednesday at the Gualo Rai Basketball Court.
Chinatown bungled a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter, but delivered clutch baskets in the final minute of the match to improve to a 6-3 record and end Maplas La Mani's four-game winning streak.
After trailing by 16 points at the end of the third period, 31-47, Maplas (4-2) cut the deficit to as low as 4 points twice, 51-55, 1:04 left on the clock, and 57-53, 46 seconds remaining on the clock. However, Chinatown hung in there in the end, converting a fastbreak layup and three free throws to foil Maplas' repeated comeback bids.
After Dennis Morales muffed a baseline drive that could have moved Maplas within 2 points, Vincent Pua was fouled and made a split, while Arvin Avila collared the offensive board for the putback that gave Chinatown a 60-53 cushion. A quick basket from Morales kept Maplas in the game, but not for long, as his team was forced to give up fouls with time winding down. Johnston Alokoa, Pua, and Avila then cashed in from the foul line, making one free throw each. Avila's split gave Chinatown the insurance baskets, while Maplas finally gave up when Rommel Usi faltered on his triple with less than 10 seconds left in the game.
Maplas played catch up in the fourth after Chinatown waxed hot from downtown in the third and threatened a breakaway. Paul Quizon made two triples, while Jamin Dela Cruz and Norita had one each to give Chinatown a 16-point advantage after the rain-delayed third canto.
At the resumption of the third quarter, Maplas was only behind by 4, 23-27, but slowly collapsed when it nailed only two field goals in the next five minutes and missed a couple of long shots and several charities. Maplas' free throw woes continued in the fourth where they muffed more than 10. Had Maplas made its shots from the stripe, the game could have gone its way.
JWS 80, Gualo Rai 76
In the other Division B match, JWS was steady from the foul line, converting five to eke out the 4-point win over Gualo Rai.
The victory snapped JWS' three-game losing skid and improved its record to 2-4, while Gualo Rai dropped to a 3-3 slate.
Cecilio Bisana drained two free throws, while White Capalad sank three in the closing seconds to bring JWS back in the win column. Bisana went on to top-score for JWS with his 25 points, while Capalad added 21 markers. Rodmar Diaz also had 21 markers to help JWS' cause.
The trio teamed up for 19 of their 25 points in the third, turning a 32-36 halftime deficit to a 57-56 cushion at the end of the third. The three JWS players were still at it in the fourth to keep their team in the driver's seat and deny Gualo Rai its fourth win.
JWS 80 - Bisana 25, Capalad 21, Diaz 21, Buenabajo 6, Canoy 5, Saplan 4.
Gualo Rai/Morales 76 - Factor 19, Espinosa 13, Deleon Guerrero 10, Capuyon 7, Ybanez 6, Galulu 6, Yap 4, Fidelino 2, Cayading 1.
Scoring by quarters: 16-12, 32-36, 57-56, 80-76.
Chinatown 62 - Quizon 17, Avila 13, Noriat 10, Pua 6, Dela Cruz 4, William 4, Alokoa 1.
Maplas La Mani 57 - Morales 26, Aguilar 18, Aniciete 4, R. Usi 4, Odicta 2, Rivera 1.
Scoring by quarters: 19-14, 27-23, 47-31, 62-57.