REIGNING division champions Sprockets 95 and Alumni 2001 made up for an opening round loss in the 9th Xavier University High School Alumni Basketball Association (XUHS-ABA) League at the XUHS Pueblo covered courts here.
On Friday, they both pulled up their second-straight win with the Sprockets blasting newcomer `91 Saints, 78-58 and the 001ers handing Gambing 97ers of their second-straight defeat, 73-61.
The 95ers, the defending St. Francis Xavier Cup champions, were in full force as they had the dynamic duo of playmaker Jan-Jan Geroy and the 6-foot-4 center Paul “Shantao” Moreno.
Geroy finished with 18 points, while Moreno came up with 10 markers.
Lagasca and Jojo Anana led the 001ers with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
The 001ers opened the first half with a double digit lead, but experienced turbulence in the following quarters.
The 97ers played without their reliable foursome of ex-PBA star Bitoy Omolon, bull-strong center Andrew Neri and playmakers Dexter Latosa and Niku Benson Valles.
Gamba had back-up center Jack Cabrera scoring high for them with 13 points.
With that, they went pure locals and were getting much pride as they pulled threatening comeback.
Gamba came close by four-point deficit in the final fourth period, but that was the closest they could get.
“Kung sa PBA pa na, we went All-Filipino against them. How much more if we were in complete cavalry, but it was a message,” said Robert “The Tank” Dignos of the 97ers.
Meanwhile, XUHS 99ers of two-time ABA most valuable player Marco Sabal rebounded from last week’s defeat by overpowering Salig 2000, 66-41.
Sabal, one of the league’s dominating centers, knocked in 16 points, while ex-El Salvador village chief Mitchel Ompoc chipped in 12 markers.
XUHS 2006 escaped with 55-51 win over Pioneer 2003. (JJF)