Pacific Islands Club clinched the first finals berth while Joeten Enterprises lived to fight another day as the Inter-Commercial Business Basketball League enters the last two playdates of the 2015 season.
PIC played like a well-oiled machine in completing an 89-77 shellacking of Fiesta Resort & Spa, while Joeten needed a fourth-quarter comeback to eliminate Public School System, 79-74, in last Tuesday night’s games at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
PIC proved to have too much firepower for Fiesta as the Clubmates, behind Bartley Demapan’s game-long brilliance, sealed its 11th straight win dating back from an elimination round sweep.
Demapan played like a man possessed for PIC scoring 12 points in the first quarter to help his team erect a 30-20 lead.
PIC never slowed down after that and outran Fiesta the entire game to protect a double-digit lead until the final buzzer.
Demapan finished with a game-high 28 points, while Darwin Barbo added 13 more. Jack Aranda and the burly Ham Hambros tallied 12 markers each, while Eric Dela Rosa scattered 10.
PIC now waits for the winner of today’s Fiesta-Joeten knockout semifinals match at 6:30pm for its finals opponent on Tuesday. The one-game championship game is also set at 6:30pm.
In the second game, Joeten completed a fourth-quarter fight-back to give PSS an early vacation.
Dixon Kwon, held scoreless in the second quarter, made 10 of his team-high 24 points in the final period to help Joeten come back from several double-digit deficits in the third canto.
PSS, starting at a slim 48-44 deficit with barely four minutes gone in the third, went on a 17-4 run to take a 61-48 spread with less than two minutes left in the third.
But Joeten went on a closing 7-2 spurt to trim PSS’ lead to single digits entering the final period.
It was an all Joeten show in the fourth as they outscored PSS, 24-11, to advance to the semis match against Fiesta.
Y.J. Nakayama backed up Kwon with 16 points while Alex Lauron added 14 markers. Veterans Rocyl Ritual, Steve Rasa, and Ferdie Tobias combined for 17 points.
Preston Basa finished with 27 points but went gun shy in the fourth period, while Maverick Itibus was the other PSS player to score in twin digits with 12. Joe Villacrucis and Jacoby Winkfield ended up with 8 markers apiece.
PIC 89 – Demapan 28, Barbo 13, Aranda 12, Hambros 12, Dela Rosa 10, Abuy 8, Rabasto 5.
Fiesta 77 – Esdrelon 17, Nonato 15, Pagarao 15, Duenas 11, Matsutaro 10, Maratita 5, Macoto 4.
Scoring quarters: 30-20, 51-39, 71-60, 89-77.
Joeten 79 – Kwon 24, Nakayama 16, Lauron 14, Ritual 7, Rasa 5, Tobias 5, Sablan 4, Sambile 2.
PSS 74 – Basa 27, Itibus 12, Villacrusis 8, Winkfield 8, Diaz 5, Loste 4, Cabrera 2, Caro 2, Coldeen 2, Tenorio 2.
Scoring by quarters: 18-16, 44-38, 55-63, 79-74.