The Jericho Cruz-led Lakay routed the Hoopaholics, 88-71, while Blue Haus also coasted past PPG Pittsburgh Paints, 99-76, in the United Filipino Organization IT&E 2019 Basketball League last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
Cruz, a former member of the CNMI Men’s National Team and now plays in a professional league in the Philippines, suited up for Lakay as a guest player and powered his squad to an easy win in their exhibition match against the Hoopaholics in the Open Division. The guard top-scored for Lakay with his 19 markers, making up for a slow start in the first quarter by posting 17 markers in the last three periods, 9 of them came from the 3-point area.
With Cruz beginning to get into his rhythm in the second canto, Lakay turned a 22-15 advantage into a double-digit lead at the break, 48-26. Cruz scored 7 points in the second frame after recording only one field goal in the first period.
The visiting player added 6 more—off two triples—in the third canto and drew help from four other Lakay players, who made at least two baskets apiece, to break the game wide open, 72-48, entering the fourth canto.
The big lead after the third period was good enough for Cruz and company to secure the twin-digit winning margin despite registering their lowest output (16) in a quarter in the final frame.
Meanwhile, in the Masters Division, Blue Haus dominated PPG right from the get-go for the lopsided victory.
A 14-2 scoring in the first six minutes of the game put Blue Haus in control and the squad was never threatened after that en route to the 23-point winning margin.
Errol Peredo and Junar Guiab combined for 10 of Blue Haus’ first 14 points, while Tito Alano made the initial basket for PPG. Peredo and Guiab continued to do the damage for Blue Haus and to make matters worse for PPG, Tony Diaz and Ray Culala also hit their targets, handing the losing squad a beating.
Guiab led all scorers with his 28 points, while Peredo added 22, and Culala and Diaz finished with 20 and 19 markers, respectively.
While Blue Haus drew double figures from multiple players, Sonny Ebuen was the lone bright spot on PPG, as the forward fired 20 points, 18 of them were from beyond the arc. Robert Sanciangco was the only other double-figure scorer for PPG with his 10 markers, but his baskets came when the game was already in the bag for Blue Haus.
Blue Haus 99—Guiab 38, E. Peredo 22, Culala 20, Diaz 19, Buenabajo 6, Garcia 4, R. Peredo 2.
PPG 76—Ebuen 20, Sanciangco 10, Alano 9, Salazar 8, Montoya 7, Elchico 4, Atalig 4, Abadilla 4, Lonzaga 4, Del Rio 2.
Scoring by quarters: 22-12, 50-25, 82-48, 99-76.
Lakay 88—Cruz 19, Cabrera 17, Williams 13, Bernardo 9, Ariar 8, Capalad 7, Reyes 4, Toribio 4, Alegre 3, Solis 2, Galulu 2.
Hoopaholics 71—Lauron 12, Manibusan 11, Aughenbaugh 11, Deleon Guerrero 11, Cadiang 10, Tenorio 10, Cabrera 2, Itibus 2.
Scoring by quarters: 22-25, 45-26, 72-48, 88-71.