Blue Haus clinched its second win in as many games in the 2013 UFO-Budweiser Masters Division Basketball League after outclassing defending champion Armatech/MDX, 83-73, last Saturday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium of the TSL Sports Complex.
With the victory, Blue Haus remained in second place behind the league-leading Degree/UPAA (3-0), while Armatech dropped to a tie for fourth and fifth place with Shakir Realty (1-2). Laguna (1-1) and Pacific Islands Club (0-3) complete the Masters field.
The Blue Haus-Armatech tiff was still a close match at the end of the first period and early in the second before the former stepped on the gas in the closing minutes of the opening half and maintained its momentum in the second half to walk away with the double-digit winning margin.
Armatech was only down by three after the first 10 minutes of play, 18-21, and even managed to move within two, 30-32, after falling behind by as much as 10 points in the second canto, 18-28, as Yosh Gabaldon began to hit his shots from downtown. Gabaldon, Martin Moreno, and Bruce Berline kept Armatech afloat in the majority of the first half.
However, Gabaldon and Moreno returned to the bench past the halfway mark of the second frame and Armatech was left with limited offensive options as it relied heavily on Berline inside. Blue Haus clamped down on defense against Berline, using two and even three players to neutralize the Armatech center. On offense, Blue house leaned on their speed and outside shooting to turn a shaky 2-point lead to 49-38 advantage at halftime.
Armatech never recovered from thereon, as it could not found the right combination to counter Blue Haus’ balance offense. Martin, who finished the half with 9 points, failed to get his rhythm back, as he came off the bench in the third and was limited to one field goal in the entire second half, while Gabaldon was held to one triple each in the last two quarters. Other Armatech players did not step up either, leaving Berline to bruise his way into hard earned points just to keep his team in the game.
In contrast, Blue Haus found enough contributions (29 points) from its second stringers, including Edgar Pangelinan and Junar Guiab, who had 11 and 10 markers, respectively. Edsel Mendoza, who started out for the squad, but was scoreless in the first half showed up in the second with 12 points, while Francis Rebuyon led Blue Haus with his 14.
Blue Haus 83 – Rebuyon 14, Mendoza 12, Pangelinan 11, Guiab 10, Santos 6, G. Palacios 6, Diaz 5, J. Fernandez 4, Manabat 2, F. Palacios 2.
Armatech 73 – Berline 20, Gabaldon 18, Moreno 12, Montano 10, Poquiz 4, Ebuen 3, Canedo 2.
Scoring by quarters: 21-18, 49-38, 64-53, 83-73.