Jireh scores huge comeback past Masters

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014


TEAM Jireh unleashed its full might in the fourth quarter as it overran a drained Masters squad, 81-83, in bracket D of the on-going eliminations of the 2nd Budz Cup Invitational Basketball Tournament.

Jireh turned the tide in the payoff period producing several heroes in the hard court to extend their chances of entering the finals Mondayevening at the Easter College gym.

Noel Berjay, Kitz Ocawe, and Zaldy Rivera rallied Jired to a 16-0 run at the break of the fourth quarter after trailing 58-71 at the close of the third canto and have a taste of the lead, 74-70, with 6:18 left in the pay off canto.

Berjay exploded with fastbreak points dropping down eight straight points within the first two minutes of the fourth period that trimmed the Masters lead, 66-70.

After failing to convert a single basket in the first half, Berjay closed with 16 points including five rebounds all made in the second half of the ballgame.

But the erstwhile leading Masters did not easily let the game slip away as they managed to regain control, 74-77, with Archie Reyes and Randy Torres dropping back-to-back three-pointers at the 3:10 mark of the period.

“Talagang nag-compensate lang kami to work hard sa fourth quarter, alam namin na pagod na yung kabilang team kaya noong nakita namin ang chance to rally fastbreak scores talagang hinabol rin namin sila,” Rivera said.

The Masters then forced their way into dealing more damage as forward Paul Catbagan converts an easy lay-up before Rivera cruised his way from court-to-court narrowing the gap at 78-79, Jireh trailing.

The Masters retake an 81-79 advantage but it was Jireh’s center Bryan Rillera who delivered the last blows as he pushed his way under the painted area with five more points that sealed the deal for his team.
“Although minamalas kami sa shooting hangang sa third quarter nilakasan nalang namin ang depensa namin, masaya naman ang team since pagkatapos ng laro nagkaroon ng pay-off ang effort na binigay ng isa’t-isa,” Rivera added.

Rivera led Jireh with 19 points, Ocawe dropped 17, while Rillera capped 11 points including eight rebounds.

Catbagan powered Masters with 30 points including 17 he made in the first half, Aries Osbucan delivered 11, while Reyes capped a double-double figure with 11 points and 15 rebounds.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 26, 2014.

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