Island Floral prevailed in the battle of undefeated teams, outclassing San Antonio, 66-58, in a make-up game in the 2nd DL Corp. Invitational Basketball League last Wednesday night at the Gualo Rai Basketball Court.
Island Floral had a seven-game sweep in the regular season to top Pool B, while San Antonio fell to a 5-1 record and finished the round-robin elimination today when it faces I Love Saipan (2-4). Both San Antonio and Island Floral are assured of the automatic quarterfinals berth, while CJ Signs (4-3), Natural Mystic (4-3), San Roque (3-4), and I Love Saipan (2-4) are in the first round of the playoffs.
San Antonio and Island Floral resumed their rained-out game at the 7:13 mark of the second quarter with the latter ahead by only a hair, 24-23. Island Floral went on to stretch the lead to as much as 11 points in the fourth period, as Cecilio Bisana, Alex Standish, and Jerome Norita worked together on offense.
San Antonio struggled and clearly missed the services key players Bryle Alegre, Jack Aranda, and Nevin Salem, as the south side team canned only 4 points off J.P. Villanueva’s field goals in the remaining minutes of the second canto to face a 27-33 deficit.
Island Floral kept the upper hand in the third, 52-47, with Bisana and Standish making 6 points apiece in that canto, and the team led by as much as 11, 62-51, with Bisana going 4-for-4 from the line past the halfway mark of the final quarter. San Antonio then went on a quick 5-0 scoring run to move within 6, going into the final two minutes and had a chance to inch closer, but it muffed several triples and an undergoal stab, making only one field goal in the remaining minutes of the game. A baseline layup from Norita sealed it for Island Floral, which melted the clock en route to the 8-point win.
Docomo 68, Fliptop 56
Also clinching the top spot in its group was Docomo.
Docomo finished Pool A with a 6-1 record and got the outright quarterfinals berth, following a 12-point victory over Fliptop, which was eliminated after dropping to a 2-5 record. Joining Fliptop in the showers was Kixx Engine Oil, while Fong’s Bakery (5-2) took the second automatic Round of 8 slot, and NMI Contractor (3-4), Chinatown (3-4), Adobo (3-3), and Saipan Ice (3-3) made it to the first round of the playoffs.
Docomo withstood Fliptop’s third-quarter rally and drew a lift from James Villacrusis in the fourth for the double-digit winning margin. Docomo took a 35-22 halftime edge, as Juan Camacho finished the first 20 minutes of play with 11, but Fliptop trimmed the deficit down to 4, 42-46, thanks to James Sablan’s 9 points in the third.
Villacrusis, who was held to one field goal in the fourth, showed up in the fourth, adding 8 more points, while four other Docomo players also hit the board in the payoff period to shut the playoff door on Fliptop.
Docomo Pacific 68 – Camacho 19, Villacrusis 17, Sanciangco 10, Paraiso 9, Sison 5, McCale 3, Montes 2, Gomez 2.
Fliptop 56 – Gamboa 12, Sablan 11, Camacho 10, Babauta 8, Hocket 6, Jung 6, Norita 4.
Scoring by quarters: 14-11, 35-22, 46-42, 68-56.
Island Floral 66 – Bisana 23, Norita 11, Standish 10, Jugos 9, Teregeyo 5, Santos 4, Tabora 3, Tobias 1.
San Antonio 58 – Cadiang 21, Villanueva 11, Mungcal 8, De Guzman 5, Alegre 2, Salem 2, del Rosario 2.
Scoring by quarters: 11-13, 33-27, 52-47, 66-58.