Armatech/MDX barged into the win column following an 84-78 upset over 8th Division/MAFEA in the curtain-raiser in the 2016 UFO/IT&E Inter-Organizational Basketball League last Tuesday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
Armatech drew a solid offensive performance from the backcourt trio of Jun Alipio Jr., Bernard Montano, and Martin Moreno to snap its three-game losing skid and bring 8th Division’s hopes of an automatic semis bid out the window. 8th Division fell to a 4-3 record and is still behind the unbeaten Ali’i Blue Haus (7-0) and Best Sunshine International-Blue Eagle (6-1). The Top 2 squads after the round-robin elimination will get the outright semis berths.
Alipio and Montano scored 22 points each for Armatech, while Moreno chipped in 14. The three players made all of Armatech’s baskets in the final canto to survive 8th Division’s repeated comeback bids. Montano dropped 13 points in the payoff quarter, while Moreno registered 7, including Armatech’s last two field goals. Alipio had 5.
The three Armatech players stepped up in the homestretch after an uneventful first quarter. Moreno and Alipio were scoreless in the opening 10 minutes of play, while Montano nailed only 2 points, as Armatech hung on to a shaky 16-15 advantage.
The trio then combined for all but 2 of Armatech’s 22 points in the second period to extend the teams lead to 7 at the break, 38-31. Armatech then kept the upper hand in the third, 58-55, as Montano and Alipio remained on target in the penultimate period, combining for 11 markers.
8th Division failed to overhaul Armatech’s lead as only Jun Tabora and Alex Lauron consistently hit baskets for their team. The two had 20 of their 23 points in the final frame. Rodney Catalla made the 3 other points off a triple.
Armatech/MDX 84 – Alipio 22, Montano 22, Moreno 14, Tolosa 6, J. Malasarte 5, Berline 4, Asuhan 4, Gabaldon 3, B. Malasarte 2.
8th Division 78 – J. Tabora 25, Lauron 17, Fitial 7, Catalla 5, Lansang 4, D. Tabora 4, Diaz 4, Alipio 3, Zapata 2, Tenorio 2, Itibus 2, Manabat 2.
Scoring by quarters: 16-15, 38-31, 58-55, 84-76.