Connie’s BBQ, Tsingtao reach semis

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Connie’s BBQ’s Nelson Cabang pulls up for a short jumper against IT&E Dark’s Dan Mateo during their playoff game in the 2019 One Pacific Promotional Basketball League last Thursday at the Civic Center Court. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

Connie’s BBQ and Tsingtao Boyz marched into the semifinals of the 2019 One Pacific Promotional Basketball League after recording contrasting victories in the playoff games last Thursday at the Civic Center Court.

Connie’s BBQ survived a seesaw battle against IT&E Dark in the second win-or-go home game, 67-53, while Tsingtao Boyz dominated IT&E Light in the first playoff match, 81-74.

Connie’s BBQ managed to prevail and earn a slot in the semifinals after a long back and forth match against IT&E Dark, as it went all out in the fourth quarter. Connie’s BBQ scored 26 points against the only 9 of IT&E Dark with Darwin Barbo and Kerwin Dayao leading the former’s final push after scoring 9 markers each. Ronald Esmores also stepped up in the fourth frame, adding 6 points, while Boboy Centina made the other basket for Connie’s BBQ.

IT&E Dark collapsed in the fourth canto after hitting only four field goals. Only Ivan Devero knocked in more than one basket for IT&E Dark in the deciding quarter.

The No. 7 seed IT&E Dark seemed ready to give the No. 2 rank Connie’s BBQ a run for its money after taking the lead in the first quarter, 14-11. Mike Cabanas scored 6 points to pace IT&E Dark in the first quarter, while Barbo and Esmores teamed up in the second period to help Connie’s BBQ grab the lead, 29-28.

IT&E Dark then regained the upper hand in the third canto, 44-41, with Cabanas, Devero, and Dayrit joining forces.

However, Connie’s BBQ had the last say in the seesaw battle, thanks to Barbo and Dayao. Barbo showed the way for Connie’s with his 19 points, while Dayao and Esmores also finished in twin digits with 11 and 10, respectively. Nelson Cabang was the other double figure scorer forConnie’s with his 16 markers.

Meanwhile, the No. 1 seed Tsingtao led from start to finish to move to the semis and eliminate IT&E Light, the last playoff qualifier.

Jetzen Jandoc paced Tsingtao after drilling 30 points, while Mark Demonteverde contributed 15.

First Game
Tsingtao Boyz 81—Jandoc 30, Demonteverde 15, Pangelinan 13, Ariar 7, Pineda 7, Broncano 3, River 3, Giron 2, Tenepere 2.
IT&E Light 74—De Guzman 24, Santos 13, Divinagracia 12, Pamintuan 7, Nuguio 5, Jose 4, Aglipay 4, Palacios 3, Gotengco 2.
Scoring by quarters: 22-16, 47-32, 67-53, 81-74.

Second Game
Connie’s BBQ 67—Barbo 19, Cabang 16, Dayao 11, Esmores 10, Rodriguez 5, Centina 2, Deleon Guerrero 2, Danao 2.

IT&E Dark 53—Devero 15, Cabanas 14, Chan 11, Dayrit 5, Aguon 3, Alegre 2, Brana 2.
Scoring by quarters: 11-14, 29-28, 41-44, 67-53.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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