NMI/DYS Rollers took the second semis seat in the 2017 Francisco M. Diaz Memorial Youth League after surviving a closely fought playoff match against Mt. Carmel School, 66-62, last Wednesday night at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
NMI/DYS Rollers delivered in the homestretch, bouncing back from a 5-point deficit in the last one minute and change of the fourth quarter to grab the victory from the Knights and join first playoff match winner the Ol’Aces to the Final Four.
Lefty Jun Alipio anchored NMI/DYS Rollers’ late rally, as he scored 5 of the team’s last 9 points, while Warren Ellama and Angelo Factor contributed one field goal apiece. Factor ended up top-scoring for NMI/DYS Rollers with his 12 points, while Alipio also earned double figures with his 11, matching the production of Jude Tengco.
Tony Deleon Guerrero led all scorers with his 24 markers that went for naught, as the No. 7 seed Knights failed to hit the board in the closing minute and fell short in their bid for an upset against the No. 2 NMI/DYS Rollers.
Though the NMI/DYS Rollers was heavily favored to prevail in the second playoff match of the day owing to its 10-1 record in the regular season against the Knights’ 6-5 mark, the latter proved they could keep up with the former. Mt. Carmel even led NMI/DYS Rollers after the first quarter, 13-9, behind the combined 10 points of Myles Santos and Juan Quitugua. NMI/DYS Rollers trailed after being held to three field goals in the first 10 minutes of the match.
NMI/DYS Rollers then got its offense going in the second quarter with June Fidelino, Jude Tengco, and Jay Kapwich teaming up for 21 of the squad’s 25 points turn the tables on the Knights at the break, 34-32.
At the resumption of the match, NMI/DYS Rollers and Mt. Carmel went back and forth, as neither team managed to lead by as much 4 points in the third period. Tengco and Alipio took the cudgels for NMI/DYS Rollers in the penultimate quarter, while Quitugua joined forces with Matthew Richardson and Deleon Guerrero. By the end of the third frame, NMI/DYS Rollers was still clinging to a one-possession lead, 52-50.
The match remained close in the fourth quarter before Mt. Carmel gained some cushion midway behind Deleon Guerrero’s successive baskets. However, Factor kept NMI/DYS Rollers in the game, while Alipio delivered the telling blows in the end to eliminate the hard-fighting Knights.
Meanwhile, two more make-or-break games will be played tonight. No. 3 seed Sonics XVI will be taking on No. 6 Ol’Aces Elite in the first tiff at 5:30pm with the winner advancing to the semis against the Ol’Aces. In the second game at 6:30pm, it will be No. 4 670 Sonics XVIII versus Natibu Warriors with the victor moving into the Final Four against NMI/DYS Rollers. The pair of semis matches will be played on Monday, while the winner-take-all finals along with the battle for third place are set for Wednesday, July 12.
NMI/DYS Rollers 66 – Factor 12, Alipio 11, Tengco 11, Fidelino 9, Ellama 8, Kapwich 5, Cobacha 3, Mendoza 2, Dancoe 2, Kwon 2, Kiza 1.
MCS 62 – Deleon Guerrero 24, Quitugua 12, Richardson 11, Santos 7, Muna 6, Kiser 2.
Scoring by quarters: 9-13, 34-32, 52-50, 66-62.