Island Manpower and Jake’s Catering drew first blood in the semifinal round of the 2015 DLX Invitational Basketball League last Wednesday night at the Gualo Rai Basketball Court.
Jake’s Catering outclassed its regular season tormentor SSFM/New Garapan Market in the first game, 74-69, while Island Manpower pounded Eye Sees, 64-52. The four semifinalists will have two more games each and the Top 2 teams after the round-robin Final Four will duke it out for the championship.
Island Manpower earned its first win in the semis after catching Eye Sees flatfooted at the start of the fourth quarter. Island Manpower was only ahead by four at the end of the third, 42-38, when it dropped a 14-4 bomb to establish a 56-42 advantage, 5:27 left in the game.
Island Manpower pulled away behind the defensive stops of Pete Lizama and Jerome Norita’s fastbreak layups off touchdown passes, while Eye Sees collapsed after committing cost turnovers and failing to go back to quickly on defense.
Eye Sees’ inability to play transition defense resulted to Norita’s 8 fastbreak points, while Derrick Rangamar also got away with a couple of easy layups. On defense, Island Manpower’s Pete Lizama tapped the ball away from driving Eye Sees’ players on several occasions and also blocked a few shots.
Norita paced Island Manpower with his 18 points, while Lizama finished in twin digits, too, with his 15. Jun Tabora and Rangamar chipped in 14 and 12, respectively. Angelo Fernando led Eye Sees with his 16 markers, while Erick Dela Rosa had a quiet 10 markers.
In the second game, Derrick Aguon and White Capalad towed Jake’s Catering to victory after playing a solid fourth quarter.
Aguon drilled 9 of his 18 points in the final canto, while Capalad added 7, including a pair of free throws that sealed it for Jake’s Catering. Jake’s Catering scored its last 4 markers from the foul line with Aba Tagle and Aguon’s splits adding to Capalad’s two charities.
Jake’s Catering faced a 46-48 deficit entering the fourth quarter and managed to grab the upper hand and the win behind the combined efforts of Aguon and Capalad, while SSFM leaned heavily on Michael Espinosa.
Meanwhile, the semis round will continue tonight with SSFM needing to win against Island Manpower in the first game at 6pm to keep its finals hopes alive. In the second match at 8pm, Jake’s Catering challenges Eye Sees.
Jake’s Catering 74 – Aguon 18, Capalad 13, Gamboa 13, Manalo 10, Tagle 6, Rivera 6, Garcia 5.
SSFM 69 – M. Espinosa 31, Rabasto 13, Ong 8, Bisana 7, Velasco 6.
Scoring by quarters: 14-16, 31-30, 46-48, 74-69.
Island Manpower 64 – Norita 18, Lizama 15, Tabora 14, Rangamar 12, Tobias 3, Teregeyo 2.
Eye Sees 52 – Fernando 16, Dela Rosa 10, Manzano 9, Directo 8, Espinosa 5, Lim 4.
Scoring by quarters: 8-8, 28-25, 42-38, 64-52.