San Roque marched into the playoffs of the 2nd DL Corp. Invitational Basketball League after dominating CJ Signs, 81-64, in a make-up game last Monday night at the Gualo Rai Basketball Court.
San Roque advanced into the first round after completing the round-robin elimination with a 3-4 record. It joined the company of Natural Mystic (4-3), CJ Signs (4-3), and I Love Saipan (2-4), while Pool B’s unbeaten teams Island Floral (6-0) and San Antonio (5-0) are also in the playoffs, earning the two automatic quarterfinals berths. Maplas is eliminated along with Island Manpower, which finished pool play with a 2-5 record and would have lost in a tiebreak (via point system) with I Love Saipan even if the latter drops its final game. I Love Saipan still needs to beat San Antonio in its last match, but has already secured the final ticket to the first round of the playoffs, as it earlier defeated Island Manpower, 86-53.
Island Manpower was hoping for San Roque to lose its last game, as the former would have the edge against the latter in case of a tiebreak, having won their only meeting this season, 71-63. However, San Roque got the job done to clinch a playoff berth and oust Island Manpower.
A 27-10 start put San Roque in a good position to make the cut in Pool B. Angelo Fernando scored 10 of his 20 points in the first quarter alone to lift San Roque to an early double-digit advantage. San Roque went on to keep its safe distance, thanks to the support Fernando got from his teammates.
Fernando, who was one of the only two players to log twin digits in scoring in their 59-83 defeat at the hands of San Antonio last Saturday, this time drew help from Eugene Manglona, Gil Gapor, Ryan Odicta, and Robert Guiang. Manglona chipped in 16 points, Gapor had 12, while Odicta and Guiang nailed 10 and 8, respectively.
Docomo 93, Kixx 72
In another make-up game, Docomo ousted Kixx.
Docomo improved to a 5-1 record to keep the top spot in Pool A, while Kixx finished the round with a 2-5 record. With Kixx out, only one more team has to be booted out of the tournament. Fliptop is on the brink of elimination with its 2-4 record and needs to win its last game and pray Adobo (3-3) loses its final match to create a four-way tie with CNMI Contractor (3-4) and Chinatown (3-4) for the remaining playoff berth.
Kixx missed a chance for a playoff seat after an inconsistent offense in the important game. Kixx remained in contention in the first period, as Docomo was on top by only 3, 22-19. However, Docomo stretched the advantage to double digits at the break, 49-39, after outgunning Kixx anew, 27-20. The Pool A leader went ahead further entering the final period, 74-55, after a 25-16 scoring in the third canto. Then in the fourth, instead of launching a rally, Kixx just traded baskets with Docomo, allowing the latter to preserve its big winning margin.
Docomo 93 – Villacrusis 24, Gomez 14, Camacho 14, Reeves 14, Tudela 14, Montes 6, Sanciangco 2.
Kixx Engine Oil 72 – Guiab 23, De Guzman 12, Pangelinan 12, Fernandez 6, Ebuen 5, Villasan 4, De Jesus 2, Tibayan 2, Patawaran 2.
Scoring by quarters: 22-19, 49-39, 74-55, 93-72.
San Roque 81 – Fernando 20, Manglona 16, Gapor 12, Odicta 10, Guiang 8, Mc. Achas 6, Pineda 2, Mi. Achas 1.
CJ Signs 64 – Maranan 17, Tinio 14, Salas 14, Dela Cruz 8, Dela Rosa 5.
Scoring by quarters: 27-10, 40-23, 62-46, 81-64.