‘Underdog’ Samboan off to perfect start

LEADER. Raphael Charles Dinampo had 27 points in Samboan’s debut and added 15 points in their close win against Sibonga. /
LEADER. Raphael Charles Dinampo had 27 points in Samboan’s debut and added 15 points in their close win against Sibonga. / MOALBOAL LGU PHOTO / JANINE S. ABENIDO

SAMBOAN leaned on the brilliance of Raphael Charles Dinampo and Miaco Gelacio for a 2-0 start in the cash-rich Mayor Inocentes Cabaron Inter-town Invitational tournament over the weekend in Moalboal.

Samboan defeated Alcantara, 98-93, thanks to a late surge on March 9, 2024, and then outlasted Sibonga, 86-83, on March 10 for a 2-0 start in Group B.

On Saturday, John Kelvin Macasaol and the hot-shooting John Cesar Ypanto combined for 22 points as Alcantara fought to a 53-all score at halftime against Samboan before Dinampo exploded for an impressive 18 points in the final two quarters, including 10 in the final 10 minutes, for Samboan’s 98-95 win.

“Every time we join tournaments like this, we always feel we are the underdog because we usually have the shortest players,” said team manager Ron Lisondra.

Dinampo led Samboan with 27 points, while Gelacio had 16. On the other hand, Macasaol and Ypanto had 20 points each, with the latter, dropping six threes, while Clent John Ypanto had 15 in Alcantara’s opening day loss.

On March 10, it was Gelacio’s turn to don the hero’s cap as he exploded for 12 points in the final quarter to help Samboan improve to 2-0. Gelacio finished with 26 points, Carl Rencee Bilagantol had 23 and Dinampo added 15.

Ehman Jason Suarez led Sibonga with 25, including 10 in the final period, Chuckie Regidor had 16, while Chuckie Montenegro finished with 13 points.

“After beating Sibonga with Suarez in the lineup, my confidence in the players have gone up. However, I can’t say what we’ll happen next because all the teams are good but we will double our effort and intensity and hopefully make it all the way to the semis,” said Lisondar.

On the other hand, Badian also played twice but split its games to go 1-1 in Group B. On March 9, Badian averted a third-quarter collapse to beat Ronda, 81-72, with Reynaldo Flores dropping 22 and Romulo Divinigracia scoring 17. Badian was trailing 58-51 after getting outscored 28-13 in the third quarter before Flores and Divinigracia combined for 19 points in the fourth quarter to win their debut.

It was a different story on March 10 as Badian lost a 62-60 lead in the final 10 minutes to lose 89-84 to Malabuyoc. Raphael Aspacio had 21, while Divinigracia finished with 18. Joshua Soria led Malabuyoc with 27 points, 18 from beyond the arc while Rudy Casiping had 17 and Ericson Rubio had 14. / ML

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