Eagle Construction returned to its winning ways following a 70-63 upset of second-running NAPA Auto in the masters division of the Inaugural SCLC Basketball League last Wednesday at the Civic Center Basketball Court in Susupe.
With an eye toward improving its playoff positioning, Eagle Construction gutted it out with the heart-stopping win as the game’s conclusion was in the balance in the final minute of the contest.
NAPA Auto closed in at 64-61, but Eagle Construction’s Mike Umali was fouled in the next possession. The high-flying guard would make his first free throw but missed the second. Good thing, 6’3” veteran center Ed Cosino rebounded the ball and completed an up-and-under follow-up to give his team a 67-61 lead time down to 1:05.
Cosino appeared to grab the rebound after a futile offensive thrust by NAPA Auto, but Rommel Bartolo would steal the ball from the former semi-pro player and scored on a putback to make it 67-63 with 49 ticks left in the ballgame. That would be their finals points though as Umali again went 1-2 from the charity stripe and following a missed 3-pointer by NAPA Auto’s Jorge De Guzman, Alex Ocampo was fouled and closed out the game’s by going perfect from the 15-foot line.
Eagle Construction flew high from the get-go as they paced NAPA Auto, 19-12, after the first quarter thanks to the 10 points of Raymond Santos. NAPA Auto put the defensive clamps on their opponents in the second quarter though and limited them to just 6 points while scoring 15 points themselves that allowed them to take a 27-25 spread at halftime.
The seesaw battle continued at the start of the second half with De Guzman and Cosino asserting their might inside with the latter burning the hoop with 10 points and the latter banging 7 markers of his own. Eagle Construction was able to wrest the lead away from NAPA Auto and entered the fourth and final quarter ahead, 49-47.
Both teams would Fighttooth and nail in the last 10 minutes of the contest, but Eagle Construction proved steadier at crunch time and improved their win-loss record to 4-5, while dropping NAPA Auto to its third loss in nine outings.
The second masters game between Blue Haus and DECM was rained out with the latter ahead by 9 points with 3:20 left in the second quarter.
On Tuesday, The Game continued its winning ways after routing Marianas Dental Center in the open category. The 8-1 team was led by the 24 points of Mac Mintac, while Ronald Elchico fired 14 markers in the loss for the now 3-6 MDC.
In the second game, Blue Haus got 14 points apiece from Ehrol Peredo and Ivan Devero in its 74-58 conquest of HBR International. The win improved Blue Haus’ record to 7-2, while HBR International absorbed its fourth loss against five wins.
Team Marianas celebrated its return from Guam with a 101-67 victory over Vizion Insurance in the third and final game. After losing all three games in its friendly matches last weekend in the U.S. territory, the CNMI national men’s basketball pool was happy to taste a win again, which was its fifth in six matches in the local league. They were led by the 21 points of Coby Santos. Ronald Rueda and Rodel Pastrano shot 24 points each in the loss, which gave Vizion Insurance a 5-4 card.
Eagle Construction 70 – Santos 20, Ocampo 17, Cosino 11, Umali 10, Itaas 7, Sampang 6, Pineda 4.
NAPA Auto 63 – De Guzman 20, Montano 18, Abuy 7, Tabora 6, Bartolo 4, Manabat 4, O. Ebuen 2, Guinto 2, Tobias 2.
Scoring by quarters: 19-12, 25-27, 49-47, 70-63.
The Game 83 – Mintac 24, McWilliams 19, Arellano 13, Sablan 9, Deleon Guerrero 7, Shamburger 6, Dayao 3.
MDC 65 – Elchico 14, Royce 10, Moises 9, Sembrano 5, Apasan 4, Lillis 4, Ibanez 2.
Scoring by quarters: 16-13, 38-23, 64-42, 83-65.
Blue Haus 74 – Peredo 14, Devero 14, Talania 11, Lauron 10, Esdrelon 9, De Dios 6, Castro 5, Bernardo 2, Hernandez 2.
HBR International 58 – Romo 13, Galang 10, Hipolito 8, Agusto 8, Perez 6, Antonio 3, Reyes 2, Tudela 2, Gotengco 1.
Scoring by quarters: 21-9, 45-28, 61-42, 74-58.
Team Marianas 101 – Santos 21, Aranda 18, Sablan 15, Dela Cruz 14, Castro 13, Satur 8, Aldan 4, Aughenbaugh 2.
Vizion Insurance 67 – Rueda 24, Pastrana 24, Agustin 13, Ramos 5, Candoy 3.
Scoring by quarters: 18-14, 33-32, 63-51, 101-67.