Red Rice and Makalaro Lang will go for all the marbles this Sunday as they collide in the one-game finals of the 2015 Blue Haus/IT&E Inter-Color Basketball League.
Game time is at 4:30pm and the title match will be followed by a brief awards ceremony with league organizers recognizing the regular season and Finals MVPs and handing out the championship trophy to the winning team.
Makalaro lang is slightly favored in the winner-take-all finale, owing to its 67-57 victory against Red Rice in their elimination round meeting.
However, momentum is on Red Rice’s side, as it prevailed in its last six games—sweeping its last four matches in the elimination round and tacking on two more victories in the playoffs to make it to the finals ahead of Makalaro Lang. Red Rice, which finished the elimination round with a 5-3 record for a five-way tie for second place, defeated Oh My J in the quarterfinals, 84-77, and then topped Pasion De Amor in the semis, 91-77, to bag the first finals berth.
Makalaro Lang, on the other hand, notched at outright semis ticket after ruling the round-robin elimination with its 6-2 record. In the semis, Makalaro Lang downed Mamba, 75-65, to join Red Rice in the finals.
In this weekend’s title game, Makalaro Lang will be pinning its hopes on Ivan Devero and Errol Peredo. The duo scored more than half of Makalaro Lang’s total points in their victory over Red Rice with Peredo tallying 20 points and Devero adding 18. The two key players also registered double figures in their semis win over Mamba with Peredo still time top-scoring for Makalaro Lang with his 24 and Devero chipping in 18.
Makalaro Lang’s 1-2 punch will be backed up by Ernie Moises, Raymond Velasco, Matt Buenabajo, John Jugos, Greg De Leon, Rey Culala, Emir Abuan, and Rico Morales.
Red Rice, on the other hand, will bank on Darwin Barbo, who is averaging 31 points in the playoff round. The mobile big man registered 28 points in their quarterfinal victory over Oh My J and then exploded for 34 in their semis win against Pasion De Amor.
Barbo will need the support of Angelo Fernando and Michael Cabanas so they could match up with Makalaro Lang’s potent offensive game.
Completing Red Rice’s roster are Danray Chan, Joseph Achas, Arman Anasan, Joel Saplan, and Jun Marilla.