Azucena Cup opens with cliffhangers

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Monday, August 4, 2014


YBAC long-time member Jake Azucena never had it so good as Arnel Lapore and Jun Ballesteros’ squads survived their playmates in the Your Basketball Athletic Club-Jake Azucena Cup opening twin game on Saturday at the West Negros University gym.

Hotshots RJ Pendon and Pao-pao Lim scored 25 and 16 points to help Lapore’s Team B escape a late charge from Bong Ibe’s Team C, 85-81.

Jason Olivar, Lapore and Oscar Aquino combined to give Team B a 24-18 first quarter advantage over Ibe, Mario Reyes and Gherson Sipe who carried the scoring for Team C.

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Team B surged at half, 50-31 with Pendon conniving with Lim and Rolly Buenaflor for a 26-13 run in the second period. Jun-jun Luciano scored seven points for Team C in that stretch.

Team C made some adjustments in the third period with a 22-17 blast with Sipe and Reyes combining slightly cutting the lead at the quarter's end , 67-53.

Team C tried to catch up with Sipe hitting, eight points and John Dustin Chua and Ibe scoring seven and six points, respectively.

With both teams in the penalty and Team C trailing behind by two Pendon was fouled four times. Pendon split his charities thrice, 83-81 and with 2.7 seconds left Pendon finally sunk both free throws to seal the win.

Meanwhile, tall and powerful Eugene Tsai scored only two in the final canto of his total nine points but was enough to lift Ballesteros' Team D to nip Team A, 76-75.

Team D jumpstarted to a 20-11 first quarter lead before Edwin Fregil’s Team A came back with a 22-18 run in the second period to cut the deficit at 38-35 at the break.

It fired another 20-18 spurt behind a balanced scoring led by Marlon Caballero’s seven points, but Peewee Demonteverde scored 13 points in Team A’s last stand before Tsai converted a reverse lay-up with 1.1 second left in the game clock.

Team D called its last time out to set up a final play. Demonteverde’s fade away from the left side just hit the rim and Team D escaped a close one. (HGD)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 04, 2014.

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