QQ Rent-A-Car and DLX advanced to tomorrow’s Blue Haus Invitational Basketball League championship after vanquishing separate rivals in Thursday night’s semifinals at the Garapan Basketball Court.
QQ Rent-A-Car came from behind to beat Ashley’s in the first game, 87-79, while DLX ousted Mobil, 103-93, in the late tiff.
The two winning teams will clash in Sunday’s championship match at 7pm. An awards presentation will also take place during the spectacle where various raffle prizes will also be up for grabs.
QQ Rent-A-Car’s Elgene Mangali stepped up big in Thursday’s opener and buried a couple of 3-pointers for 11 points in the first quarter that helped his team establish a 20-13 advantage.
He took a seat early in the second period, however and Ashely’s turned the tables on QQ Rent-A-Car, 42-36, at halftime.
Seven different Ashley’s players came together led by the 8 markers of Rommel Usi who sunk two treys that helped push them ahead.
QQ Rent-A-Car’s Mangali returned to action in the third quarter, but was held to just a handful of points late in the period as Ashley’s continued reaping rewards from its well-balanced attack and kept control, 63-57.
Mangali flipped the switch though in the payoff period and nailed three long balls early in the fourth quarter and made it a ballgame.
QQ Rent-A-Car’s Lerio Pagarao also slashed to the hoop for 7 big points late in the period and the team’s defense brought it home in the end.
Mangali turned in 31 in the crucial semis game, while Ashely’s Jerome Norita scrambled for 18 on the short end.
In the late match, DLX found a hot hand early in Elmer Esdrelon whose 9 points helped secure a 21-15 lead in the first quarter. He also received 11 in support from Jun Abedes and Leo Galarse.
DLX then manufactured a stout 51-33 halftime lead as they contained Mobil’s Jun Estolas to just a pair of free throws in the second quarter.
DLX’s Esdrelon added 10 points to his total and kept the torch in his hand.
Fellow starters Abedes, Galarse, and Darwin Barbo provided 11 markers and welcomed 9 more markers from the bench.
DLX continued to share the wealth and maintained a 77-65 cushion after three quarters off another dozen points from Esdrelon.
Mobil could not muster a late comeback in the final period as DLX broke 100 and cruised into the finals.
Esdrelon finished with a game-high 36 points, while Bart Demapan’s 28 led Mobil in defeat. Estolas managed 22 points.
QQ Rent-A-Car 87 – Mangali 31, Pagarao 17, Camacho 12, Paraiso 10, Faisao 8, Sison 5.
Ashley’s 79 – Norita 18, Mendoza 13, Abuel 12, Peterberg 11, Inos 10, Usi 10, Mungcal 5.
Scoring by quarters: 20-13, 36-42, 57-63, 87-79.
DLX 103 – Esdrelon 36, Barbo 16, Galarse 16, Abedes 10, David 10, Muleta 8, Guiab 6, Fernandez 6, Trajano 2.
Mobil 93 – Demapan 28, Estolas 22, Fernando 14, Bahillo 9, De Guzman 9, Hussein 8, Ajoste 2.
Scoring by quarters: 21-15, 51-33, 77-65, 103-93.
By Walter J. Sutherland