It will be a merry Christmas for Juan Camacho, as he not only helped Docomo Pacific win the championship but also gained the Finals MVP award in the 2nd DL Corp. Invitational Basketball League.
The lanky Docomo forward took the coveted plum in the winner-take-all title game after making the heads-up plays in their 72-69 victory over San Antonio last Saturday at the Gualo Rai Basketball Court. Camacho plucked a rebound after San Antonio’s Nevin Salem muffed a game-tying basket and later fouled the former. Camacho went 1-for-2 from the stripe, upping Docomo’s lead to three, and then secured the victory after stealing Ezra Caro’s inbound pass to Salem at the backcourt. All these hustle plays happened in the last 7.5 seconds of the fourth quarter.
Camacho finished the title match with 12 points, as his and Rolly Paraiso’s inside game allowed Docomo to recover from an 2-14 deficit in the first period. Camacho was then awarded a wooden trophy for winning the Finals MVP honors and also made it to the Mythical Team.
Joining the Docomo forward on the elite group are Island Floral’s Cecilia Bisana, San Antonio’s Bryle Alegre, NMI Contractor’s Leo Galarse, and I Love Saipan’s Mike Olaitiman. Olaitiman was also named regular season MVP for bringing the upset-minded I Love Saipan to the semifinals.
Olaitiman was the leading scorer for I Love Saipan, averaging more than 20 per game. I Love Saipan finished the round-robin regular season with a 2-5 record and was the last team in Pool B to make it to the playoffs. In the playoffs, I Love Saipan stunned two seeded foes to advance to the Final Four. Olaitiman averaged 23 points in those two victories and was still the top-scorer (22) for this team when it lost to Docomo, 63-77, in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, wooden trophies were also awarded to the champion team Docomo, runner-up San Antonio, third finisher Island Floral, and fourth placer I Love Saipan. The trophies were donated by Hair Studio and JOS Corp.
Others teams that competed in the second season of the DL Corp. caging were inaugural season champion Adobo, Chinatown, Saipan Ice & Water, Kixx Enginge Oil, Fliptop, and Fong’s Bakery of Pool A and Pool B’s San Roque, Island Manpower, CJ Cheries, Maplas, and Natural Mystic.
League commissioner Sonny Ebuen thanked all the participating teams and their sponsors for supporting the competition.