Upset in Budweiser Cup playoffs


VisMinda/Civic Boys' Norman Olfindo slips past his Batangas/Fong's Bakery defenders for an easy layup during the fourth quarter of their playoff game in the UFO Budweiser Cup last Sunday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)  VisMinda/Civic Boys stunned Batangas/Fong’s Bakery, 87-68, in the first round of the playoffs of the 2012 UFO Masters Budweiser Cup last Sunday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

VisMinda/Civic Boys, which lost to Batangas in the regular season, 84-97, and was seeded (No. 5) lower in the playoffs than its fourth-ranked foe, won their second outing after dominating the game right from the start.

Big men Bobby Geli and Ramil Santos did most of the damage for VisMinda/Civic Boys, as they combined for about half of the team’s total output with the former sizzling for 24 points and the latter adding 19. Sandy Quemado was the third VisMinda/Civic Boys player to score in twin digits with 12.

Batangas had only two players scoring in double figures with Jun Abedes and Amor Casabuena making 19 and 15, respectively, and the team undoubtedly missed the contribution of Joseph Galulu. The lefty guard, who scored 18 points in their first outing against VisMinda/Civic Boys, did not play in the first round of the playoffs.

With Galulu absent, Batangas’ usual fast-paced game was missing in the opening canto, while Geli and Santos made their presence felt early, combining for 11 markers to give VisMinda/Civic Boys an 18-12 lead.

VisMinda/Civic Boys continued to outgun Batangas in the second period with Quemado joining Geli and Santos in the scoreboard and stretching the advantage to 13 at the break, 39-26.

Geli was still unstoppable in the second half, adding 10 more points in the third to keep VisMinda/Civic Boys’ double-digit lead, which ballooned to as much as 19.

In the fourth quarter, Casabuena and Abedes tried hard to anchor a Batangas’ comeback, but simply lacked support from their teammates as they only cut the lead to as low as 12 points.

With the loss, Batangas must win its game against MAFEA/CNMI on July 8 to stay alive, while VisMinda/Civic Boys advanced to the second round and will face the second-ranked Bayani/LBT Appraisal on July 5 at 8pm. Top seed and defending champion MDX/Armatech will also play on July 5, challenging the third-ranked Laguna/Twinkle/Erika’s at 6:30pm. Laguna won via forfeit against MAFEA/CMI, which had only four players available for last Sunday’s opening game.

First Game

VisMinda/Civic Boys 87 – Geli 27, Santos 19, Quemado 12, Sevilla 9, Belo 9, Miguel 7, Olfindo 4, De Belen 2.

Batangas/Fong’s Bakery 68 – Abedes 19, Casabuena 15, Alejandro 8, Jacob 7, Puno 6, Bernardo 4, Gatdula 4, Buniag 3, Teng 2.

Scoring by quarters: 18-12, 39-26, 64-49, 87-68.

By Roselyn Monroyo

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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