San Antonio held strong against C&J Signs Cherries’ second-half rally to eke out a 69-63 victory in the second game in the 2nd DL Corp. Invitational Basketball League last Wednesday night at the Gualo Rai Basketball Court.
San Antonio led by as much as 18 points in the third quarter, but saw its advantage down to one past the halfway mark of the final canto before Nevin Salem made a momentum-halting basket and Melvin Cadiang drilled insurance shots to avoid a total meltdown.
The third canto began with San Antonio on top, 38-20, and it duplicated its biggest lead midway in that period, 51-33, before Ralph Francisco and Erick Dela Rosa teamed up in a 12-2 windup to cut the deficit to single digit, 45-53.
Dela Rosa and Francisco continued to lead C&J Signs’ recovery in the fourth canto with the former scoring the team’s first 5 points in the final frame and the latter going 3-for-4 in his last two trips at the stripe to slice San Antonio’s lead to a hair, 55-56, with still 5:04 left on the clock.
C&J Signs had a chance to get its first taste of the lead after San Antonio faltered another offensive set, but the former also could not convert a basket. San Antonio then controlled the rebound, paving the way for a Salem fastbreak basket and giving his team more breathing room, 58-55. Another botched C&J Signs play returned possession to San Antonio and Cadiang made it a 4-point game, 59-55, after he drew a foul on the other end and split his charities.
With his team down by only four will still over two minutes left in the game, Dela Rosa refused to give up and nailed two straight inside baskets. However, Cadiang countered with his own string of field goals, as the San Antonio wingman scored 8 of his team’s last 10 points to secure their debut victory in Pool A. Aranda made the other 2 points and top-scored for San Antonio with his 15. Bryle Alegre added 13, while Cadiang finished with 11. Dela Rosa paced C&J Signs with his 22 markers, while Francisco contributed 16.
Fliptop 64, Kixx 58
In Pool A, Fliptop outclassed Kixx Engine Oil.
Ronnel Gamboa led all scorers for Fliptop with his 20 points, but it was the timely baskets of Won Joo Jung in the fourth quarter that lifted Fliptop past Kixx. Jung dropped 7 of his 14 points in the fourth period, including the last 4 markers that sealed it for Fliptop.
Fliptop led from start to finish, but faced a big threat from Kixx in the second quarter as the latter moved within a deuce, 28-30, after falling behind by 10 at the end of the third quarter, 10-20. Kixx then widened the gap in the third with six of its players making it to the scoreboard. Jung had only 2 points in the third, but saved his best for last in the fourth to foil Kixx’s comeback bids.
Fliptop 64 – Gamboa 20, Jung 14, Norita 9, Sablan 8, Babauta 4, Isip 2, Hernandez 2.
Kixx Engine Oil 58 – De Guzman 20, Guiab 7, Tibayan 5, Farinas 4, Tengco 4, Pangelinan 4, Patawaran 2.
Scoring by quarters: 20-10, 30-28, 49-41, 64-58.
San Antonio 69 – Aranda 15, Alegre 13, Cadiang 11, De Guzman 9, Caro 8, Salem 6, Del Rosario 2.
C&J Signs Cherries 63 – Dela Rosa 22, Francisco 16, Maranan 7, Factor 6, Salas 4, Litulumar 4, Tinio 3.
Scoring by quarters: 18-8, 38-20, 53-45, 69-63.