Purple Rain punched the last playoff ticket in the 2015 Blue Haus/IT&E Inter-Color Basketball League after pulling off an upset over Hard Kulangot, 81-68, last Sunday at the Navy Hill Court.
Purple Rain finished the elimination round with a 3-5 record for seventh place in the team standings to join six other squads to the playoff phase of the nine-team field. Hard Kulangot (4-3) is also in the playoffs despite the loss and was scheduled to play the continuation of its suspended match against Kidlat last night to determine its final position. Makalaro Lang (6-2), Pasion De Amor (5-2), Red Rice (5-3), Mamba (5-3) and Oh My J (4-3) are the other playoff qualifiers, while Kidlat (1-5) and Eh Di Wow (0-8) are eliminated.
Donnel Isip led Purple Rain’s playoff seat-clinching win after scoring 21 points. He made important baskets in the homestretch to keep Purple Rain’s safe distance, including three straight field goals. Thirteen of his total points came in the second half, including 6 of the team’s last 8 markers.
Paul Bautista and Bruce Berline backed up Isip, chipping in 15 and 14 points, respectively, while the team’s four other scorers contributed at least 7 markers apiece to deny Hard Kulangot a chance for the outright semis berth.
Coming into last Sunday’s lone game, Hard Kulangot was holding a 4-2 record and a win over Purple Rain coupled with a victory against Kidlat would have given the former a 6-2 mark. Hard Kulangot would have tied Makalaro Lang for the top spot and possibly Pasion De Amor (if it won against Oh My J last night). The top finisher in the elimination will get the automatic semis slot, while the No. 2 to 7 placers will fight for the three remaining semis tickets.
Meanwhile, Red Rice also prevailed in its last game in the elimination after downing Purple Rain last Friday, 68-63.
Angelo Fernando and Michael Cabanas had double figures for Red Rice, scoring 17 and 15 points, respectively. Darwin Barbo missed the twin-digit mark, nailing only 9 points, but he knocked in three crucial free throws and tallied 5 of his total output in the homestretch. Fernando also canned two charities, while Cabanas had a spit to seal it for Red Rice.
Red Rice 68 – Fernando 17, Cabanas 15, Barbo 9, Anasan 8, Saplan 8, Chan 5, Lizardo 4, Marilla 2.
Purple Rain 63 – Reyes 19, Bautista 14, Berline 13, Leomo 6, Isip 5, Flores 4, Deleon Guerrero 2.
Scoring by halves: 39-37, 68-63.
Purple Rain 81 – Isip 21, Bautista 15, Berline 14, Flores 9, Deleon Guerrero 8, Reyes 7, Leomo 7.
Hard Kulangot 68 – Barrios 28, De Dios 11, Ibanez 8, Lontoc 7, Pollisco 6, Cuktura 6, Garcia 2.
Scoring by halves: 37-34, 81-68.