The fight for the second and last automatic semis berth in the 2014 JP World Corp. Customer Appreciation Basketball League is now down to two teams—Joeten and Public School System.
Joeten cruised to a 112-70 win over Top Development, Inc. last Wednesday to finish the elimination round with a 6-2 record and hold the No. 2 spot in the team standings for now. Joeten is slightly ahead of PSS, which improved to a 5-2 record, following an 80-56 rout of Saipan Ice & Water last Thursday. PSS has a chance to tie Joeten for the No. 2 spot if the former wins against Top Development, Inc. tomorrow. The tie will then be resolved via winner-over-the-other rule and in this case, PSS has the edge, having beaten Joeten in overtime, 83-80, last Oct. 1.
Joeten and PSS are left to battle for the last outright semis ticket after MBI/Anchor was removed from the picture and Shirley’s Coffee Shop locked in the No. 1 spot in the nine-team field. Shirley’s got a free win via forfeiture against Commonwealth Utilities Corp. last Thursday to keep its perfect record (7-0) and move one win away from sweeping the regular season. MBI/Anchor, on the other hand, fell to McDonald’s, 76-97, to drop to fourth place in the team standings with its 5-3 slate.
McDonald’s, with its blowout win against MBI/Anchor and 4-3 record is now in fifth place and snapped a three-game losing skid. McDonald’s will join CUC (3-5), MBI/Anchor and either PSS or Joeten in the first round of the playoffs.
The No. 3 and 6 finishers in the elimination round will play in the first playoff match this Friday, while the No. 4 and 5 placers will collide in the other make-or-break outing in the second game. Winners of Friday’s playoff matches will then join Shirley’s and the No. 2 finisher in the semifinals, which will be played on Nov. 10. Victors in the semis will play in a short best-of-three title series, starting on Nov. 12.
Meanwhile, league organizers had to move last weekend’s matches to last Thursday to give way to Halloween activities on the island.
PSS played in the lone match last Thursday and boosted its chances for the outright semis ticket with a 14-point win against Saipan Ice. PSS played without Preston Basa, who was nursing an ankle injury he sustained during their game against McDonald’s late last month, but still managed to prevail with Ray Santos and Jerry Diaz stepping up for the team’s top scorer. Santos registered 20 points, while Diaz chipped in 18.
Joeten 112 – De Leon 31, Lauron 25, Teregeyo 16, Sambile 12, Kwon 10, Borja 9, Jacob 5, Alfonso 2.
TDI 70 – Velasco 21, Lorenzo 19, Reyes 8, Arreza 7, Pollisco 6.
Scoring by quarters: 38-25, 58-41, 89-62, 112-70.
McDonald’s 97 – Mi. Achas 39, L. Achas 16, Cruz 12, Mc. Achas 12, Gapor 10, Santos 2, Corpuz 2, Rigua 2.
MBI/Anchor 76 – Devero 35, Cordero 17, Capalad 14, Garcia 5, Viola 5.
Scoring by quarter: 23-21, 39-37, 60-55, 97-76.
PSS 80 – Santos 20, Diaz 18, Itibus 10, Mendez 5, Manibusan 6, Cabrera 4, Villagomez 2, Loste 2.
Saipan Ice 56 – Norita 21, Kaipat 16, Cayading 6, Pangelinan 6, Santy 5, Fernandez 2.
Scoring by quarters: 18-10, 42-25, 68-45, 80-56.