Team A takes Game 1, Team D finishes 3rd-A A +A
Friday, January 17, 2014
DEFENDING champion Team A needed another win to keep the Ayala Basketball Cup as it drew first blood, 83-73 against Team C in Game 1 of the Best-of-3 Finals at the Ayala North Point gym in Talisay City.
Brod Hojilla and Alex Fernandez combined for 45 points to upset the ex-UP Maroon Mark Jomalesa-led C squad which got 13 points from forward Tony Agustin.
Hojilla exploded for 12 points on runners and tear drops as the title-holders built a 10-point quarter lead as Agustin sank seven markers to keep C afloat.
A resurgent Talisay Vice Mayor Nilo Lizares hit six points inside the paint at will and cut the lead to 26-32 at the break as A slumped with anemic shooting in the second canto.
Skipper Hojilla dropped another 12 points along with Philip Abong’s six points under the board in the third to increase the lead to 11 points despite Jomalesa's five points, 57-46.
Agustin, Allan Donguines and Marvin Tan became willing recipients of Jomalesa’s lock down defense, orchestrating a counter offensive in the first five minutes of payoff quarter allowing all three to score on uncontested fastbreak points to cut the lead again to six.
Sensing its lead slipped away and the game too, Fernandez connected three three-pointers and scored 17 of his 21 points and Tad Caperonce added six in the final stretch to secure the win.
Abong chipped in 16 points for A while Lizares and Tan backstopped Agustin with 11 points each.
Team D, meanwhile, salvaged third place after routing Team E, 89-80 as Chac Mirano and Charles Taocta engaged in a shootout. Mirano led D with 28 while Taocta scattered a tournament high of 35 points in a losing effort.
D’s Renren Lacson opened up with eight markers, two from beyond the arc as Pepe Balladres and Mirano chipped in six points each.
Taocta single-handedly outdid the trio as he exploded for 15 points with three three-pointers to give the guest team a 27-22 advantage. He added another 10 in the next quarter with Dax Coscolluela backstopping with eight markers.
Lacson and Mirano scored nine points each and tried to take the lead but came up short at half 48-53.The former City Heights AC star added another 10 in the third as JR Rombines handcuffed E's chief gunner.
The final quarter saw a Team D blitz as balance scoring from Lacson, Mirano and Rombines proves to too much for Team E’s Charles and the Sibug brothers.
Lacson finished with 23 points while Deric Sibug added 15 markers for E.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 17, 2014.