Defending champion Adobo demolished the Chinatown Saints, 92-44, in the opening game in the 2nd DL Corp. Invitational Basketball League last Saturday night at the Gualo Rai Basketball Court.
With the core of its champion squad back and teaming up with new recruits Emerson Feria and Kevin De Leon and the returning Ichitaro Faisao, Adobo came out in the opener with better cohesion to hand the Saints a bad beating.
Faisao, who suited up for Adobo in another league, but missed the team’s title conquest in the inaugural DL Corp caging a few months ago, scored 19 point in his homecoming, while Feria and De Leon also logged double figures. The Adobo forward, who previously played for Fliptop, added 15 points, giving his new squad a big lift in the paint. De Leon, who also came from Fliptop, did a good job quarterbacking for Adobo, stole the Saints’ pocket a couple of times, and drilled 13 points for an all-around game.
The holdovers from Adobo’s champion team had their usual contribution with last season’s Lester Vertudez nailing 14 and Genesis Mamaril chipping in 12 off a 4-for-6 shooting from downtown. Jasper Yap and Mike Saturno combined for 12 markers, while J-Boy Gotengco and Jomar Tadifa also made it to the board.
Incidentally, Adobo players faced former teammates Shane Deleon Guerrero and L.J. Hemley when their started their title defense against the Chinatown Saints. Deleon Guerrero went on to top-score for his new squad with 17 points, while Hemley contributed 6, but both clearly needed more time to jell with their new associates.
The two ex-Adobo players are now joining forces with Justin Zapanta, Paul Quizon, and Rodney Sacramento, who are all known scorers, but were off during the opening night. Quizon was held to 8 points, making his last two field goals (triples) only when Adobo had already loosen up on defense. Zapanta was limited to 6 markers, while Sacramento failed to hit a single field goal off his daredevil drives and scored only drilled only one free throw.
While Chinatown was in disarray, Adobo had a smooth sailing in the first quarter to take a big 27-9 lead. The gap widened further in the last three quarters, as the defending champion found the right combinations on the floor, while Zapanta, Quizon, and Sacramento failed to get their acts together, leaving Deleon Guerrero the tough job to give Chinatown a decent debut in the second edition of the league.
Meanwhile I Love Saipan and the San Roque Bandits played in the second game in the opening day and results of the match will be reported in Saipan Tribune’s Tuesday edition.
Sixteen teams are competing in the league and they are divided into two groups. Pool A is composed of Adobo, Chinatown, Docomo, Saipan Ice, Kixx, Fliptop, Fong’s, and NMI Contractor. Pool B has Love Saipan, San Roque, Island Floral, Island Manpower, San Antonio, C&J Cherries, Maplas, and Natural Mystic.
Adobo 92 – Faisao 19, Feria 15, Vertudez 14, De Leon 13, Mamaril 12, Yap 6, Saturno 6, Gotengco 2, Tadifa 2.
Chinatown Saints 44 – Deleon Guerrero 17, Quizon 8, Hemley 6, Fleming 6, Zapanta 6, Sacramento 1.
Scoring by quarters: 27-9, 47-17, 66-26, 92-44.