Eagle Construction and Blue Haus will meet in the best-of-three championship after vanquishing separate rivals in the semifinals of the masters division of the Inaugural SCLC Basketball League last Saturday at the Gillette Multi-Purpose Gymnasium in Gualo Rai.
In the first game, Eagle Construction continued its rise from a 0-4 start in the eliminations by upsetting No. 2 seed NAPA Auto, 92-84.
Both teams were evenly matched in the first half with Eagle Construction taking a candle stick lead, 22-21, after the first quarter and a 3-point lead, 41-38, at intermission.
Bouncy Raymond Santos and ageless warrior Alex Ocampo then combined for 14 points in the third to allow Eagle Construction some breathing room entering the payoff period, 67-59.
The wheels suddenly fell off from NAPA Auto in the fourth as the team finally succumbed to Eagle Construction’s trapping defense. It also helped that Santos hit from inside and outside and Jun Singca was a one-man fast-break. It got so frustrating for NAPA Auto big man and leading scorer Jorge De Guzman that after getting the rebound in the dying seconds of the ballgame, he attempted a 3-point shot at their own basket and it went in.
Santos led all scorers with 28 points, while Ocampo and Singca added 13 markers apiece. Former semi-pro Ed Cosino pumped in 10 points for good measure. De Guzman was the lone bright spot for NAPA Auto as he fired in 22 points. James Abuy was the only other double-digit scorer for NAPA Auto with 12 markers.
In the second game, Blue Haus continued its perfect season with a 108-98 victory over Marianas Dental Center. After a relatively tight first quarter that saw the powerhouse team take a mere 6-point lead, Blue Haus took off the gloves in the second and established a 25-point spread at the half as Junar Guiab bullied his way to 14 points.
Fradel Sedillo and Gerry Tolentino, however, willed their team to a comeback at the start of the second half and trimmed their deficit to just 13 points with a quarter to go in the ballgame. The duo fired 18 points between themselves in the rally.
But Blue Haus would steady themselves in the final 10 minutes of the contest and maintained their double-digit advantage as come-backing Ed Diaz momentarily ditched his beloved fishing pole and scored 7 points. Guiab was the high-point man for Blue Haus with 29 points to lead five teammates in double figures. Tolentino scored 25 points in the loss, which relegated MDC to a third-place match against also-ran NAPA Auto.
Eagle Construction 92 – Santos 28, Ocampo 13, Singca 13, Cosino 10, Umali 8, L. Itaas 8, Sublemente 4, Alegre 2, Surima 2, Sampang 2, Garcia 2.
NAPA Auto 84 – De Guzman 22, Abuy 12, Manabat 8, Bartolo 6, Tabora 6, Tobias 6, Tibayan 3.
Scoring by quarters: 22-21, 41-38, 67-59, 92-84.
Blue Haus 108 – Guiab 29, T. Diaz 18, J. Santos 14, Esdrelon 14, E. Diaz 11, Elchico 8, Jomacquio 5, Berline 4, Peredo 4.
MDC 98 – Tolentino 25, Sedillo 18, Calbone 17, Catalla 15, Villarin 12, Lumauag 8, Quemado 4.
Scoring by quarters: 26-20, 66-41, 81-68, 108-98.