Angel Wings almost got a taste of their own medicine early Wednesday morning in the 2004 Inter-Restaurant Basketball League.
Playing at the league’s new home, the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, the pacesetters almost were upset by a fighting El Segundo team, 58-54.
El Segundo actually led by as much as 6 points thanks in no small measure to John Jugos’ fearless penetrations and the outside shooting of Ariel Abadilla.
With some two minutes to go, Angel Wings made their last stand. Led by whippet-quick point guard Butch Sublemente and center Owen Parayno the team would tie the count at 54-all.
El Segundo would be left without a field goal the rest of the way, while Angel Wings went ahead with a putback by Nonie Yambao. Sublemente and Marlon Pineda would eventually ice the game with a couple of heaves from the free throw line.
Angel Wings got off to a lightning-quick start and jumped to a 12-2 lead before ending the opening quarter on top 15-8.
But the team went to its bench too much in the second and that allowed El Segundo to creep back in the ballgame and at the end of the first half, Angel Wings led by only a point, 26-25.
Things got physical in the third quarter with El Segundo fighting for every possession and sticking close to Angel Wings.
El Segundo sharpshooter Ariel Abadilla was especially effective in the period, nailing jumpers and floaters to keep his team on the coattails of Angel Wings.
On the opposite side of the court, bruiser Nonie Eugenio banged his way inside to keep Angels Wings’ head above water. The score after three quarters of play was 42-40 still in favor of Angel Wings.
El Segundo made their move at the midway point of the payoff period when guard Robin Mesina scooted in for a couple of layups to give his team the lead.
That advantage, however, proved short lived as Angel Wings made their endgame push, allowing them to escape the fate of Capricciosa. The powerhouse team underestimated Angel Wings earlier in the eliminations and paid the price.
Parayno led Angel Wings with 16 points, while Abadilla was the highpoint man for El Segundo with 16 markers.
The restaurant league resumes tonight inside the sauna-like but rainproof conditions of the Ada Gym with the game between Capricciosa and Keeraku.
Angel Wings 58 – Parayno 15, Eugenio 12, Suplemente 9, Tan 6, Yambao 6, Pineda 5, Guiang 4, Ocampo 4.
El Segundo 54 – Abadilla 16, Mendiola 15, Tenepere 6, Mesina 6, Cruz 6, De Vera 2.
Scoring by quarters: 15-8, 26-25, 42-40, 58-54.
Referees: Arnold Mesa and Jake Villanueva