Hoopaholics capped its regular season campaign in the UFO-Budweiser Open Division Basketball League with a win over the struggling Mobil/JP World, 88-81, last Thursday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.
The Hoops finished the round-robin competition with a 3-3 record and is currently in third place in the team standings behind the unbeaten AXE Proa (5-0) and I Love Ladder Beach (5-1). Mobil (2-4) also played its last game in the regular season and is in fifth place behind KB Market (2-3). Completing the standings are Toka Degree (1-4) and Kanoa Resort (1-4).
Only two games are left for the regular season and these will be played tonight with Proa taking on Kanoa in the first match at 6:30pm and Toka colliding with KB Market at 8pm. The results of tonight’s matches will determine the pairings in the single-elimination playoffs. The first round of the playoffs will have the No. 2 to No. 7 teams battling for the three remaining semis seats, as Proa had already secured the first and outright semis ticket. The playoff pairings will be No. 2 vs No. 7, No. 3 vs No. 6, and No. 4 vs No. 5.
The Hoops boosted its chances for the No. 3 spot after playing a team game against Mobil, which came into the league as an early favorite, but had a roller-coaster ride this season. It was three against one in the Hoops-Mobil tussle, as the former had Kelvin Fitial, Maverick Itibus, and Zack Babauta to battle the latter’s Freddie Pelisamen. Fitial and Itibus scored 21 points each for the Hoops, while Babauta had 17 to offset the 33 points of Pelisamen.
The Mobil gunner was a one-man show, as he was the lone player on his team to break into twin digits. Gyles Ruluked and Butch Kaipat were the second-leading scorers for Mobil, making 9 each. Jun Estolas had a quiet 7 points and nailed only one field goal.
The Hoops was in control in the majority of the match, but could not pull away, as Pelisamen kept Mobil afloat with his streak shooting. He and Itibus traded baskets early in the fourth quarter that began with the Hoops ahead by only 7, 65-58. Itibus then went cold past the halfway mark of the fourth, but Fitial, Babauta, and even Jerry Diaz showed up in that canto to counter Pelisamen’s hot shooting. Diaz scored 5 of his 7 points in the fourth.
KB Market 103, Kanoa Resort 91
In the second game, KB Market dominated Kanoa Resort from start to finish to notch only its second win in five games.
An early double-digit lead, 29-17, set up the easy victory for KB Market, which kept its safe distance at the end of each period. Four KB Market players scored at least two field goals apiece in the opening canto take the 12-point advantage. KB Market continued to spread the wealth in the last three quarters, while Kanoa Resort relied heavily on Matt Duenas and Preston Basa, making it hard for the team to mount a big comeback.
At the end of the one-sided match, four KB Market players finished in twin digits with Brendon Talania leading the way with his 25 points. Elmer Esdrelon added 16, while Marlon De Dios and Leo Galarse contributed 14 and 11, respectively. Duenas top-scored for Kanoa with his 29 markers, while Basa chipped in 24.
Hoopaholics 88 – Itibus 21, Fitial 21, Babauta 17, Manibusan 10, Litulimar 8, Diaz 7, Tenorio 4.
Mobil/JP World 81 – Pelisamen 33, Ruluked 9, Kaipat 9, Olaitiman 8, Estolas 7, Gamboa 6, Fernando 4, De Guzman 3.
Scoring by quarters: 23-24, 45-42, 65-58, 88-81.
KB Market 103 – Talania 25, Esdrelon 16, De Dios 14, Galarse 11, Devero 6, Barbo 6, Aquino 6, Muleta 3, Manalo 3, David 2.
Kanoa Resort 91 – Duenas 29, Basa 24, Brennan 9, Coldeen 8, L. Sablan 6, Manglona 6, Orbeta 2.
Scoring by quarters: 29-17, 53-38, 75-65, 103-91.