PMA stuns SLU; UB escapes BCU in BBEAL’s 26th season-A A +A
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
PHILIPPINE Military Academy and the University of Baguio trampled separate foes during the weekend as action continues to heat up in the men’s basketball of the ongoing 26th Baguio–Benguet Educational Athletic League.
The PMA Cavaliers played more cohesively in the second half to stun erstwhile unbeaten Saint Louis University Navigators, 92-78, while the UB Cardinals almost stumbled but hang tough in the final period to down Baguio Central University Eagles, 96-91.
Kevin Manuel fired a game high of 32 points for the Cavaliers in scoring their fourth win against three losses and handed the Navigators their first loss in six starts.
It was one of the worst losses for the Navigators who failed to get their groove back in the second half after leading 17-21 at the close of the first quarter.
“Our game plan was to limit Laurence Gallano or minimize has scoring output. Luckily we were able to execute it,” said coach Jojo Estibar.
Gallano, who had a 24-point output the last time out against Baguio College of Technology and another 22 over the Cordillera Career Development College, was limited to only 18 points while Alvin Ray Dumuk chipped in 11 for SLU’s scoring.
No other players in the Navigators side scored in double digit while the Cavaliers had Dennie Fernandez and Virgil Thomas Visabella chipping in 16 and 11 markers, respectively.
“Actually, lamang ang SLU kung tao sa tao ang pag-uusapan pero I told the boys na laban lang tsaka di ko inexpect na ganito yung outcome,” added Estibar.
From that four point deficit at the close of the opening canto, the Cavaliers slowly chipped that lead away and tied it at 28 all with 4:21 remaining in the second period before closing it out with a 43-39 lead.
SLU tried to regain its composure in the third quarter but the Cavaliers countered every opportunity by the Navigators which saw PMA lead by seven, 69-62, at the end of the period.
PMA then made it a double digit lead, 78-68, with 6:22 remaining in the pay off canto then pushed the lead to 12 at one point in time, 82-70, with 3:58 remaining.
The Cavaliers were riding high on their 82-79 come from behind victory over the newcomer BCT Atoms before subduing the streaking Navigators who won their first five games.
UB, meanwhile, leaned on the heroics of Richard Bilibli and Keif Occasion in the pay off canto to stay unbeaten after six games in edging the gritty BCU Eagles.
BCU opened the ball game with a 0-6 edge over the many time champs Cardinals before slowing down on offense as UB took charge to close out the first half with a 55-46 advantage.
The Cardinals looked poised to topple the Eagles as it closed the third canto with a 72-64.
But it was not an easy task for the Cardinals after all as BCU kept coming close, tying the ball game at 83 all on a Richard Kiaki basket with 2:49 remaining, before UB let out a 6-0 run on Occasion’s back to back basket.
From an 89-84 count with 1:55 left, Gendrik Kiaki then scored a triple as BCU came close, 87-89, with 1:43 remaining.
It was the closest the Eagles came as the Cardinals held on to win the ball game with Bilibli firing 26 points as Kevin Orduna and Occasion added 24 and 16 points each.
The Eagles was led by Brent Esteban’s 26 points as Gendrik and Richard Kiaki chipped in 14 markers each for the team’s fourth win in eight games.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 12, 2012.