PPG Paint finally tasted victory after seven games by scoring a breakthrough 74-70 victory against Saipan Vegas in the masters division of the United Filipino Organization IT&E 2019 Basketball League last Sunday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
The erstwhile winless squad started off like a house on fire as forward Sonny Ebuen pumped in 13 points in the first 10 minutes of action to give PPG Paint a 17-8 lead after a quarter of play.
Dennis Cortez and Cecilio Bisana, however, played spoilers for Saipan Vegas as the two shot the lights out in the second quarter to turn the tables on PPG Paint and take a 44-39 lead at the half.
PPG Paint would fight back in the third quarter, as Jojo Elchico would preside over a rally that would allow them to get back the lead and enter the fourth and final quarter ahead 59-54.
Ebuen then did his best fireman impersonation in the payoff period, firing another 10 points, including two triples, as PPG Paint made all the right plays during crucial moments of the endgame and hung on to the 4-point victory.
For scoring 25 points, Ebuen was named best player of the game with Elchico ably supporting him with 16 of his own. Saipan Vegas, which now sports the same 1-6 record of PPG Paint, was led by the 22 points of Cortez and 16 of Bisana.
In the first game of the open division, Islander Rent A Car ran roughshod over Saipan Vegas, 90-63. Jose Torres paced the now 3-4 team with 18 points en route to earning best player of the game honors. Ken Viray and Mark Mintac backstopped him with 16 markers apiece.
Saipan Vegas dropped to 1-6 and was led by the game-high 24 of Leo Galarse.
In the other open division matchup of the evening, Hoopaholics won a battle of attrition against AK Toyota Wheels, 65-58.
In a low-scoring, defensive game Hoopaholics led 19-7 after one quarter of play, opened a 36-23 spread at halftime before allowing AK Toyota Wheels to creep back in the game in the second half.
Hoopaholics managed to stay afloat in the fourth and final quarter thanks in large part to Eli Aughenbaugh as the bull-strong forward scattered 8 of his team-high 13 in the period to stave off AK Toyota Wheels.
The win improved Hoopaholics’ record to 4-3, while the loss was the sixth in seven outings for AK Toyota Wheels, which was led by the 18 markers of Frank Ferrer.
Islander Rent A Car 90 – Torres 18, Viray 13, Mintac 13, Pastrona 12, Barrios 10, Mangali 9, Standish 8, Ramon 5, Andrew 2.
Saipan Vegas 63 – Galarse 24, Natividad 11, Bisana 8, Deleon Guerrero 7, Esteban 4, Sahagon 4, Ogumoro 2, Tenepere 1.
Scoring by quarters: 19-12, 42-35, 64-51, 90-63.
PPG Paint 74 – Ebuen 25, Elchico 16, Galulu 8, Delrio 8, Montoyo 6, Moreno 2, Salazar 2, Samson 1.
Saipan Vegas 70 – Cortez 22, Bisana 16, Abel 16, Moises 8, Park 8, Barreto 2.
Scoring by quarters: 17-8, 39-44, 59-54, 74-70.
Hoopaholics 65 – Aughenbaugh 13, Deleon Guerrero 11, Manibusan 10, Lauron 8, Tenorio 6, Mendez 4, Cabrera 2, Lee 2.
AK Toyota Wheels 58 – Ferrer 18, Breenan 16, Camacho 6, Coldeen 6, Liles 5. Boswell 4.
Scoring by quarters: 19-7, 36-23, 54-46, 65-59.