Adobo ruled the 2013 DL Corp. Invitational Basketball League after beating RadioCom in the winner-take-all finale, 77-67, last Saturday night at the Gualo Rai Basketball Court.
Adobo turned things around in third quarter after facing a 9-point deficit at the break to win its second championship in less than a year. Adobo was the champion of the DLX caging also played at the Gualo Rai court early this year before losing the crown in June to the San Roque Bandits.
The core of the runner-up squad suited up for the inaugural DL Corp. league and teamed up with new recruit Ralph Francisco, who played a solid game in the finals to help Adobo win the most important match of the season.
Francisco sizzled for 23 points, including 13 in the pivotal third quarter to spark Adobo’s rally. The third period started with Adobo behind by 9, 26-35, but the complexion of the game changed, as Francisco waxed hot from downtown, beginning and ending the third with triples. The Adobo shooting guard went on to connect three shots from beyond the arc to put his team on top after three periods, 53-44. Lester Vertudez also did his share in shifting the momentum to Adobo’s side, as he added 8 points in the third period.
RadioCom, which grabbed the upper hand in the second canto after a standoff in the first quarter, 13-all, collapsed at the start of the final half as it was held to four field goals in the third period. Only Perry Inos made more than one field goal for the disorganized RadioCom. Justin Zapanta, who finished the half with 10 points, was scoreless in the third quarter meltdown, while Rocyl Ritual still failed to find his form in the third contributing only 2 points.
Ritual finally showed up in the fourth with a string of points, but he had only Inos to back him up, while Vertudez continued his consistent offense and Adobo got a big lift from Adrian Palacios after Francisco became a marked man in the payoff period. Palacios started in the fourth and drilled 12 of his 16 points, including the last four free throws that iced it for Adobo. Vertudez added 9 more in the final canto, firing 7 straight points in the first half of the fourth frame to keep Adobo’s distance.
Adobo and RadioCom set up their finals duel after eliminating separate foes last Friday. Adobo secured the first finals seat after slipping past Sister Market in the opening Final Four pairing, 56-54, while RadioCom downed Mawati in the second semis duel, 69-61.
Both Adobo and RadioCom received trophies during the brief awards ceremony held after the finals. Adobo also received a set of uniforms, bearing the name of DL Corp. champion (Season 1). League commissioner Sonny Ebuen said Adobo will use the uniforms when it defends its title next season.
Adobo 77 – Francisco 23, Vertudez 17, Palacios 16, Deleon Guerrero 10, Saturno 6, Dela Cruz 4,
RadioCom 67 – Inos 16, Ritual 13, Zapanta 10, Standish 9, Isip 6, Salas 5, Metran 4, Pantaleon 2.
Scoring by quarters: 13-13, 26-35, 53-44, 77-67.