Island’s Best Choice and GMI Market won their respective debuts in the DL Corp Invitational Basketball League Season 5 in contrasting fashions last Thursday at the San Antonio court.
In the first game, Island’s Best topped Kauila Enterprises, 85-72, while GMI Market nosed out San Antonio, 89-87, in the second match.
GMI Market right from the start, but could not pull away against the defending champion San Antonio and needed a lift from Mike Ito and Jethro Cruz’ free throws in the homestretch to foil its foe’s comeback bid. Ito knocked in 8 points in the fourth period, including two triples, while Cruz scored all his 4 points in the final canto from the foul line to hand San Antonio back-to-back losses. San Antonio dropped the season-opening game against JP World/Mobil, 69-85.
Cruz and Ito tallied double figures in the close win with the former firing a team-high 23 markers and Ito adding 18. Greg Sablan and Ron Atalig chipped in 10 apiece. Jack Aranda paced San Antonio with his 25 points, while Jaymark De Guzman contributed 21.
In the curtain-raiser, Island’s Best Choice played solid offense in the first half, but had to withstand Kauila’s third-quarter rally to take the 13-point winning margin.
Island’s Best registered 25 points apiece in the first and second quarters to build a 50-32 halftime advantage. Matt Duenas and Paolo Sanguyo teamed up in the strong start, combining for 22 markers in the first half.
The 1-2 punch then slowed down in the third period, allowing Kauila to trim the deficit to single digit, 57-64. Elmer Esdrelon anchored Kauila’s fightback in the third, firing 10 points.
Threatened, Duenas and Sanguyo brought order back to Island’s Choice in the final canto, teaming up for 17 more points, which came in succession.
Duenas led all scorers with his 28 markers, while Sanguyo had 19 in his Saipan basketball debut.
Island’s Best Choice 85 — Duenas 28, Sanguyo 19, De Vero 12, Bongolan 11, Odicta 8, Usi 5, Aniciete 2.
Kauila Enterprises 72 — Esdrelon 17, Guiang 13, De Guzman 13, Viray 11, Santos 10, Inos 10, Rueda 2.
Scoring by quarters: 25-16, 50-32, 64-57, 85-72.
GMI Market 89— Cruz 23, Ito 18, Sablan 10, Atalig 10, Ong 7, Kintaro 6, Nakashima 6, Alipio 5, Tekopua 4.
San Antonio 87 — Aranda 25, De Guzman 21, Barbo 13, Dela Rosa 13, Saturno 7, Rabasto 4, Fidelino 2, Espinosa 2.
Scoring by quarters: 20-14, 44-37, 66-59, 89-87.