Blue Haus and JP World kept the Top 2 spots in the 2014 QQ Rent A Car Invitational Basketball League after prevailing against separate opponents last Wednesday night at the Garapan Basketball Court.
Blue Haus defeated High-Five in the first game, 72-64, to return to the win column after its four-game winning streak was snapped by Toka last week (77-83). In the second game, JP World outlasted the Rebels, 70-66, to gain its fourth straight victory and remain on top of the eight-team field. With JP World (6-1) and Blue Haus (5-1) occupying the Top 2 spots in the team standings, they remained in contention for the pennant. They are ahead of Toka (4-1), Island Manpower (3-3), Rollers (1-2), High-Five (1-5), Hoopaholics (1-5), and the Rebels (0-4).
JP World denied the Rebels entry to the win column after outgunning the latter in the second period and protecting the lead in the second half. With the match tied at 15-all, after the first 10 minutes of play, JP World picked up its scoring in the second canto, recording 24 points, while the Rebels had another 15-point output. Five players canned at least two field goals apiece for JP World to give their team a 39-30 edge in the first half.
Then at the start of the second half, both teams scored 15 points, leaving JP World with the single-digit advantage, entering the final canto. The Rebels then tried mounting a late comeback behind the back-to-back triples of Trevor Ogumoro and Ben Lisua, but Freddie Pelisamen was there to save the day for JP World. Pelisamen nailed 8 of JP World’s last 10 points to thwart the Rebels’ comeback bid.
In the first game, Blue Haus was in control of its match against High-Five in all four quarters. Elmer Esdrelon dropped 6 of his 8 points in the first frame to put Blue Haus on top, 20-14. Then in the second half, Ivan Devero started out Blue Haus’ offense, drilling the team’s first 6 markers, while Lerio Pagarao finished what the former started, posting the defending champion’s last 7 points for their 37-28 halftime advantage.
With its guards doing the work in the first half, it was the turn of Blue Haus’ frontliners—Bart Demapan, Edwin Santos, and Marlon De Dios—to step up and the trio combined for 11 points in the third to help the team keep the upper hand, 50-47. Holding a precarious 3-point lead, Blue Haus then banked on a balance offense in the fourth to fend off High-Five en route to the 8-point victory.
Blue Haus 72 – Pagarao 11, Demapan 9, Galarse 9, Esdrelon 8, De Dios 8, Devero 8, Barbo 7, Santos 6, Guiab 4.
High-Five 64 – Brennan 21, McCain 11, Peters 9, Coldeen 6, Park 4, Pangelinan 3, Acosta 2, Aughenbaugh 2.
Scoring by quarters: 20-14, 37-28, 50-47, 72-64.
JP World 70 – Pelisamen 15, Ruluked 12, J. Estolas 8, Camacho 7, Sharry 4, Olaitiman 4, Paraiso 4, Jones 4, D. Estolas 4, Peredo 2.
Rebels 66 – Teregeyo 13, Ogumoro 11, Babauta 10, Norita 10, Lisua 5, Litulumar 4, Chen 4, Manglona 2.
Scoring by quarters: 15-15, 39-30, 54-45, 70-66.