Armatech and KB Hite eased their way to lopsided victories in the 2015 Graphics Invitational Masters Basketball League last Friday night at the Gillette Multipurpose Gymnasium.
Armatech whipped the Saipan Warriors in the first game, 102-65, while KB Hite also routed the Slashers, 91-70, in the last match of the weekend to remain at the top half of the team standings. Armatech now has a 4-1 record for second place behind the unbeaten Blue Haus (5-0), while KB Hite kept the No. 3 spot with its 3-2 mark. The Slashers and Saipan Warriors hold 1-3 and 1-4 slates, respectively, while idle Bammy’s Restaurant (2-2) and Boomers (0-4) complete the field.
Both Armatech and KB Hite cruised to victory after pulling away in the second quarter.
Armatech was still down by 2, 18-20, at the start of the second period when it exploded for 29 points to seize control of the match at the turn, 47-30. Three-point shooter James Abuy anchored Armatech’s pivotal run in the second frame, knocking in 9 points, while big men Haejun Park and Bruce Berline played their first game of the season and combined for 8 in that period.
The Saipan Warriors was held to four field goals in the second-quarter slowdown and they had no player scoring more than one field goal in that canto. They never recovered from thereon as they failed to match Armatech’s firepower in the second half.
Armatech continued pouring in points in the second half, drilling 28 more in the third and 30 in the fourth. Four players scored multiple baskets for Armatech in the third, while Bernardo Montano and George Poquiz put the finishing touches in the fourth, teaming up for 14 markers.
Abuy top-scored for Armatech with his 21 points, while Montano and Berline chipped in 14 and 12, respectively.
In the second game, KB Hite turned a single-digit lead at the end of the first to a 24-point halftime edge after limiting the Slashers to 8 points in the second period.
Ahead by only 8 after the first 10 minutes of play, 25-17, KB Hite drew contributions from every player it fielded in the second quarter for a commanding 49-25 lead. Five players nailed at least two baskets apiece for KB Hite, while only Gerry Farinas logged more than one field goal in the Slashers’ meltdown.
The Slashers picked up their scoring in the second half, tallying 20-plus points in each of the last two quarters, however, KB Hite countered almost every basket the former made to keep its safe distance en route to the double-digit winning margin.
Ed Pangelinan paced KB Hite with his 17 points, while Farinas had 12 for the Slashers.
Meanwhile, the league has five remaining games in the regular season, counting last night’s pair of matches. At the end of the round-robin play, the top team will automatically advance to the semis, while the six remaining squads will battle for the three other semis tickets. The playoff pairings will be No. 2 vs 7; No. 3 vs No.6, and No. 4 vs No. 5. The four semifinalists will then compete in another round-robin playoff with the Top 2 teams marching into the finals.
Armatech 102 – Abuy 21, Montano 14, Berline 12, Bartolo 8, Poquiz 8, Tobias 8, Park 7, Gabaldon 2, Malasarte 2, Manalili 2, Gatdula 2.
Saipan Warriors 65 – Samson 20, Geli 14, Surima 8, Tiples 7, Santos 6, Alano 2, Mateo 2, Abadilla 2.
Scoring by quarters: 18-20, 47-30, 75-42, 102-65.
KB Hite 91 – Pangelinan 17, Pineda 14, Verano 12, Koebel 8, Duenas 7, Sison 6, Demapan 6, Yalung 6, Castro 4, Morales 3, Mungcal 2, Garcia 2.
Slashers 70 – Farinas 12, S. Ebuen 11, Tengco 10, O. Ebuen 9, Villasan 9, Tibayan 6, Leong 6, Abadilla 4.
Scoring by quarters: 25-17, 49-25, 65-48, 91-71.