Batang Bear Brand drew first blood in the 2nd Invitational IT&E/Blue Haus Friendly Basketball League after outclassing Vendetta, 93-84, last Saturday at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.
Four BBB players broke into double figures to give their team a good start in the 12-squad field sponsored by IT&E. Ronnel Gamboa led BBB with his 25 points, while Hal Spott chipped in 16 in his debut in the league, while Peter Ariar also made a good impression in his first game in the tournament after chipping in 13. Veteran Erlan Lansang was the third player to score in twin digits for BBB with his 11, while three of his teammates combined for 23 more points for the squad’s balance scoring.
Vendette, on the other hand, leaned heavily on Jun Estolas, who exploded for 30 points, but had only Erwin Gomez and Gino Libuw backing him up. Gomez tallied 19 points, while Libuw recorded 14, but had none in the fourth quarter when Vendette tried to mount a comeback, bringing the deficit to single digit before falling short in the end.
Vendetta played catch up all throughout the match as BBB got its offense going early, taking a 25-19 lead after the first canto. Gamboa and Spott teamed up in helping BBB control the tempo of the match, as they combined for 14 points, while Che added 5.
Ariar, who was scoreless in the first canto, then anchored BBB’s breakaway in the second period, knocking in 8 of his total points in that frame. Four of his teammates also converted at least 2 baskets each to hand BBB a promising 53-37 advantage.
BBB then kept the double-digit spread in the third, 73-60, as Gamboa and Spott showed up anew, combining for 11 more points. Gamboa was still unstoppable in the fourth, as his baskets kept BBB in a safe distance. The BBB wingman finished the fourth with 9 points, registering 5 of the squad’s last 9 and trading baskets with Estolas.
Meanwhile, games in the IT&E/Blue Haus caging will be played every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. There will be two matches on Wednesdays and Saturdays, while three games are scheduled on Sundays.
BBB 93 — Gamboa 25, Spott 16, Ariar 13, Lansang 11, Che 8, Devero 8, Esdrelon 7, Flores 2, Achas 2.
Vendetta 84 — Estolas 30, Gomez 19, Libuw 14, Dela Cruz 6, Sablan 6, Tenorio 3, Bucalig 2, Orbeta 2.
Scoring by quarters: 25-19, 53-37, 73-60, 93-84.