Laguna/Erika’s Catering made Shakir Realty kiss its playoffs hopes goodbye after cruising to an 84-59 victory in the final regular season game in the 2013 UFO-Budweiser Masters Division Basketball League last Saturday night at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.
Laguna finished the double-round robin elimination with a 7-3 record, placing second behind the unbeaten Blue Haus (10-0). Shakir Realty wrapped up the season with a 2-8 slate, joining Pacific Islands Club in the showers and handing the last playoff berth to D&Q Degree (3-7). Had Shakir Realty won its last game, it would have forced a tie with Degree for the fourth and final playoff ticket and would have prevailed in the tiebreak (if winning margin system is used). Degree beat Shakir Realty by 19 points in the first round, 72-53, while the latter won the second round outing by 22 markers, 117-95.
With Shakir Realty losing its playoff chances, Degree now has the right to face the top-ranked Blue Haus in the first semis game set for today at 6:30pm. The second Final Four pairing will be played at 8pm with Laguna facing Armatech/MDX (6-4).
Laguna enters today’s playoff round coming off a big 25-point win over Shakir Realty, which did not have a chance to pull off an upset against the former, losing the match as early as the first half. Laguna built an early double-digit spread, 22-12, and pulled away after the first 20 minutes of play, as it held Shakir Realty to 6 points in the second canto for a comfortable 42-18 advantage.
Jun Alipio led Laguna’s strong start, finishing the first half with 13 points, while his three other teammates also contributed at least 6 points apiece. Shakir’s lackluster performance in the first half featured a forgettable three-fieldgoal output in the second quarter. No Shakir player scored in twin digits in the first half, as its leading scorer, Arthur Montes, made only 6 points.
Shakir picked up its scoring a bit in the third period, but still Laguna outgunned the former, 18-16, to stretch the lead to 26, 60-34. Then in the fourth quarter, Shakir never made enough headway to at least cut the deficit to a decent number.
Jun Tabora led Erika’s lopsided win after scoring 23 points, while Alipio and Melvin Villarin chipped in 16 and 11 markers, respectively. Montes had 23 for Shakir Realty, while Ernie Moises added 15. Shakir Realty missed the contribution of Joselino Canoy, who averaged in double figures in the team’s first nine matches, but had only 3 points in their final game.
Meanwhile, victors in today’s semifinals games will play in the winner-take-all finale this Saturday, while losers will battle for the third place trophy this Thursday.
Erika’s 84 – Tabora 23, Alipio 16, Villarin 11, Catalla 9, Buhay 8, Catacutan 4, Geli 4, Guinto 2.
Shakir Realty 59 – Montes 23, Moises 15, Bautista 8, Paraiso 4, Surima 4, Canoy 3.
Scoring by quarters: 22-12, 42-18, 60-34, 84-59.