IT&E outdueled PPG Paint in the clutch to prevail in their master division matchup, 73-72, as the United Filipino Organization IT&E 2019 Basketball League continued last Thursday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
PPG Paint actually rallied from 7 points down after the first three quarters of play to make a game of it in the fourth and final quarter. Led by a 3-point barrage from Martin Moreno and suicide drives from Joseph Galulu, the winless squad crept back into the game.
However, big shots from best player of the game Dexter Tenorio and timely free throw shooting from point guard Amor Zapata saved the day for IT&E as they were able to eke out the 1-point victory.
IT&E started strong with Tenorio hitting his stride with 9 points in the first quarter as they took a 20-15 lead. But PPG Paint fought back in the second quarter and behind a spread offense, they managed to take a 2-point lead at the turn, 37-35.
Sonny Lerio waxed hot from everywhere in the third quarter, essentially carrying the whole IT&E team behind his back as they opened up the aforementioned 7-point advantage going into the last 10 minutes of the contest.
PPG Paint’s own Sonny—Sonny Ebuen—however tried to match Lerio’s offensive punch in the third, firing two triples and wound up with 8 in the quarter.
Both teams would fight tooth and nail in the fourth before Tenorio and company pulled off their victory, which equalized their win-loss record in the masters division at 2-2. The loss, meanwhile, was the sixth in as many tries for Ebuan and company.
Tenorio top-scored for IT&E with 27 points, while Lerio backed him up with 18. Ebuen paced PPG Paint with 19 markers.
The UFO caging resumes on Thursday with its usual doubleheader with Pacific Marine taking on Saipan Vegas in the 6pm first game in the masters division. The second game will then pit Pacific Islands Club against Shirley’s Coffee Shop in the 7:30pm second game in the open division. Both games will be played at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
IT&E 73 – Tenorio 27, Lerio 18, George 15, Zapata 7, Masga 2, Bucalig 2, Pineda 2, Ordas 2.
PPG Paint 72 – Ebuen 19, Montoya 10, Galulu 10, Atalig 8, Del Rio 8, Moreno 7, El Chico 6, Sanciangco 2, Lonzaga 2.
Scoring by quarters: 20-15, 35-37, 60-53, 73-72.