Commonwealth Utilities, Corp. regained its bearings quickly after nosing out Top Development, Inc., 78-77, in the curtain-raiser in the 2014 JP World Corp. Customer Appreciation Basketball League last Friday night at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.
After bowing to McDonald’s last Oct. 6, CUC (2-1) averted back-to-back setbacks, following its one-point victory over the slumping Top Development, which is still winless in three games. George Poquiz lifted CUC to the close win after hitting three free throws in the homestretch.
Poquiz’s three clutch charities in the closing seconds of the match gave CUC a 4-point cushion, 78-74. Top Development’s Sefich Lorenzo then canned a triple from the left corner to cut the deficit to one, but CUC hung on tight as it melted down the clock and avoided getting fouled in the dying seconds to keep the slim lead and the win.
Poquiz finished the nip-and-tuck match with 14 points and was among the four CUC players to hit double figures. Iramk Simada and Andrew Masga had 16 markers apiece, while James Benavente chipped in 13.
Simada posted 10 of his total points in the fourth quarter after going scoreless in the first half. His three-point shooting kept CUC afloat in the fourth, as he knocked down two baskets from downtown and back-to-back two-point field goals past the halfway mark of the final canto. Masga and Benavente also hit timely baskets in the fourth period.
Earlier in the first quarter, Masga and Benavente combined for 8 of CUC’s 14 points to force a standoff. Top Development then broke the tie in the second period, 32-30, with Allen Reyes and Raymond Velasco anchoring the team’s offense.
Velasco and Reyes were still the go-to-guys for Top Development in the third period, while CUC spread the wealth and was rewarded with a 54-48 advantage. Four CUC players made at least two baskets apiece in the third frame, while two others also hit the board.
Despite losing the lead, Top Development remained in contention with Velasco making repeated trips to the foul line early in the fourth quarter and nailing several charities. However, steady free throw shooting in the closing seconds of the tight match also bailed CUC out with Poquiz converting three shots from the stripe.
CUC 78 – Simada 16, Masga 16, Poquiz 14, Benavente 13, Mizutani 6, Nunez 6, Madracheluib 3.
TDI 77 – Reyes 21, Velasco 19, Lorenzo 14, Arreza 10, Polusco7, Pangelinan 4, Mafnas 2.
Scoring by quarters: 14-14, 30-32, 54-48, 78-77.