Lakay tops Loving Hands in Group B finals

Lakay’s Ronald Bernardo gets away from Loving Hands’ Junior Tabora after receiving an inbound pass during the closing seconds of their game in the Civic Center caging last Sunday in Susupe. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Lackey rallied past Loving Hands Day Care to pull off a 69-66 victory in the Group B finals of the 2019 Civic Center Basketball League last Sunday in Susupe.

Yeyel Manalo led Lakay’s come-from-behind win, as he scored 13 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, including a completed 3-point play that served as insurance for his squad.

Lakay was clinging to a 66-63 lead with less than a minute left in the game and the 24-second shot clock ticking when Manalo drove strong to the basket and got an and-1 play. He made the bonus charity, bringing their advantage to 6, 69-63, down to the last 39 seconds of the final canto.

Loving Hands sued for time and when the game resumed, Jude Tengco knocked in a triple from the left key, cutting the deficit anew to 3, 66-69. Loving Hands then had a chance to move closer or tie the match with a triple when Lakay, instead of melting down the clock went for a fastbreak play and faltered. However, Jun Tabora, who posted up against Lakay’s Shane Deleon Guerrero lost possession when the former turned around and the latter slightly tapped the ball away.

Lakay then pushed the ball again to its frontcourt, but Tabora picked Manalo’s pocket and with the clock winding down, the former headed to their goal. Tabora was several steps away from the basket with just 3 seconds left in the game and the crowd and his teammates were shouting at him, telling him to take the triple. However, Tabora was not aware of the clock and opted to dribble and move closer to the basket, leaving him with no time to make an attempt, which eventually fell short when he stretched for a layup.

It was a sorry loss for Loving Hands, which led in the first three quarters of the finals that had its fourth period played last Sunday after the Saturday match was halted by rain. Loving Hands led by double figures at halftime, 39-26, and was still on top at the end of the third, 55-49, before collapsing in the payoff period, as it failed to neutralize Manalo.

Manalo was scoreless in the second and third cantos after logging 6 points in the first, but save his best for last to tow Lakay to victory. Ronald Bernardo and Renato Gaviola also helped Lakay’s cause, as they combined for 13 points in the third period to keep their team in the game. Gaviola finished with 14 markers, while Bernardo added 10.

Jun Tabora had 17 for Loving Hands, while Tengco chipped in 12, but neither managed to hit more than one field goal in their fourth-quarter meltdown.

Lakay 69—Manalo 19, Gaviola 14, Bernardo 10, Cabanas 8, Kwon 6, Deleon Guerrero 5, Solis 2.

Loving Hands 66—J. Tabora 17, Tengco 12, Javier 9, Pangelinan 3, Jr. Tabora 6, Ocampo 5, Alipio 2, Kintz 2.

Scoring by quarters: 17-24, 26-39, 49-55, 69-55.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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