La Trinidad, Benguet – It was the same story in four of the six games featured in the Laity Cup, Season 3 stagings at the San Jose Gym last week. Corinthian teams KTB Apostles and Cordillera Career Development College and Ephesian teams Levites and Swordsmen all built early big lead and had to defuse rallies from their opponents to register wins last Wednesday and Thursday, June 10 and 11, respectively.
Mark Del Rosario connected on three lay-ups to enable the Apostles, a collection of Kibungan-Tublay-Bokod cagers, to avoid bungling a big lead and get their third win against a loss in the Corinthian division. The Apostles got off to an early 50-34 halftime lead behind the 18 points of Jovencio Caleno, the 17 of Del Rosario and the outside sniping of Gusval Bolislis, who canned three rainbow bombs, in the first half.
The Apostles still enjoyed a 14-point lead midway in the third 64-50 when the Knights of Columbus from Cathedral staged a comeback. Paul Vincent Moltio buried three treys and scored 13 points to led a 17-2 attack and take the lead for the first time in the game, 67-66. Another basket by Juanito Nastor, Jr. gaved Cathedral their biggest lead before Caleno connected a buzzer beating three to end the third all tied up, 69-all.
Both teams exchanged baskets thereafter. The Apostles was still holding a precarious 81-80 lead with three minutes left in the game when Caleno canned a short jumper and Del Rosario got in his share to go up by nine 91-82 forcing Cathedral to send them to the line for the rest of the duration of the game. Del Rosario and Rholinson Paleng converted three and two from the line to end the threat.
The next day, it was defending champion CCDC’s turn to do the same act in getting their first victory in the tournament. They were on the way of torpedoing the Holy Knights as they entered the fourth quarter with a seemingly safe lead of 74-55 behind the 16 points each of Butch Diaz and new player Jaylor Maluyo along with the 14 of Rodolfo Bongcato and the 12 of Joseph Bernal.
A 20-8 Holy Knight counter offensive anchored on seven points, including a triple, each by Chester Zambrano and Rosilo Kitab to start the fourth suddenly brought back the Knights in the game. That brings the lead to just a manageable seven points, 82-75, with three minutes left in the game. After Maluyo converted a lay-up, another triple by Kitab got them to with in six, 84-78. forcing CCDC to sue for time.
While CCDC missed their next attempt, the Knights, however, could not sustain the run as they also missed their next attempts while watching Bongcato sink two baskets and Diaz, whom they sent to the line, two freethrows to end the game. With the win CCDC left the Knights, who are still looking for their first win, alone in the cellar.
It was the same story in the other division. The Swordsmen were up 72-58 after the third quarter against McDonalds behind the 24 points of Julius Relos and seemingly had the number of McDo on this night. Eight points by Marlon Cardonia and six points by Kenneth Tualla engineered a 20-12 run for McDonalds to inch closer, 84-78, 1:41 left in the game.
This, however, proved to be the final score as the Swordsmen wasted as much seconds as they have on the shot clock every time they got possession of the ball while McDonalds missed their attempts each time they in their side of the court and refused to intentionally send the Swordsmen and test them at the stripe.
The Levites got off to a nine point first quarter lead behind the 10 points of Chris Pacdit and the seven of Benjie Madriaga after the first. They tried to pull away several times but the Marketers refused to go away everytime an attempt was made.
The Levites got up by 12 late in the second but the Marketers got back to settle with a four-point halftime lead. The Levites attempted once more in the third going up by 15 but again the Marketers cut it back to nine by the end of the third. Both team exchanges baskets in the fourth to seal it for the Levites.
Sacred Heart would prove to be the outlier this week as it successfully came from behind against the Wesleyans to remain unbeaten after four games. The Wesleyans got off to a fast start taking the first quarter 28-20 on the strength of the eight points each of Mark Basigan, Bryle Bayas and Joe Beray.
Sacred Heart would, however, quickly turn the tide in their favor as Jonathan Raet drilled in three triples and 11 points while getting support from Kirby Dela Paz with seven to score 28 second quarter points while limiting the Wesleyans to just 14 and take a six point lead in the half.
Raet suddenly got hot and connected six more rainbow shots in the third to finish the quarter with 22 points ans lead a Sacred Heart charge that would permanently seal the game with a 21 point lead going into the fourth. Raet would eventually finished the game with a tournament-high 11 three pointers made for the game.
Levites 86: Madriaga 24, Pacdit 22, Cipriano Comiles, Sr. 18, Allan Contero 8, Arthur Bataclao 7, Edgar Mosalod 5, Eugeneson Gayasco 2.
La Trinidad Market 75: Jolly Dawaton 25, Denver Quiadez 18, Brently Beswilen 14, Dick Acosta 6, Ismael Palbusa 5, Junifer Molitas 3, Samson Ambros 2, Sean Penchon 2.
Quarterscores: 29-17, 46-42, 69-60, 88-75.
Apostles 96: Caleno 35, Del Rosario 31, G Bolislis 15, Paleng 8, Prudencio Basquial 4, Hoven Bolislis 3, Alex Batara, Haggard Pantaeleon.
KC Cathedral 84: Moltio 20, Al Odra 16, Dennis Billanes 16, Donald Colanta 10, Jhay Ar Paladan 10, Kevin Areola 6, Eric Dulay 4, Nastor, Jr. 2, Rey Florida.
Quarterscores: 25-19, 50-34, 69-69, 96-84.
Swordsmen 84: Relos 28, Xylee Sillatoc 18, Clyde Tango 11, Raymart Alos 9, Ronald Dagdagan 8, Raul Dagdagan 6, Junior Obiacoro 4, Jerico Aoanan, Marco Suyayen.
McDonalds 78: Vince Balatero 19, Tualla 17, Cardonia 16, Sherwin Gaceta 9, Wziegler Sandoval 8, Efren Jamon 6, Mary Jifre Tangalin 3, Melivin Destura, Tom Joseph Obice
Quarterscores: 18-19, 44-34, 71-58, 84-78.
Sacred Heart 101: Raet 39, Kirby Dela Paz 17, Jowen Nang-is 15, Jose Puyao, Jr. 13, Jayvee Macuha 7, Ian Falcasantos 6, Earl Villanueva 2, Jonald Guyon 2.
Wesleyans 72: Ryan Mabalo 17, Basigan 16, Bayas 15, Beray 10, Glen Natividad 6, Julius Balio 5, Keith Bantasan, Jr. 2, Harry Culla-ag 1, Clinton Pacdit, Derrick Babsa-ay, Walter Comila.
Quarterscores: 28-20, 48-42, 81-60, 101-72.
CCDC 90: Maluyo 22, Diaz 18, Bongcato 18, Bernal 12, Jordan Tagle 5, Astor Beniasan 4, Jayvee Basilio 4, Abello Fernando 3, Henry Basilan 2, Kurt Panagan 2.
Holy Knights 80: Kitab 26, Bob Cabellan 13, Zambrano 13, Erick Pamogas 10, Allan Jimeno 8, Nestor Remolacio 6, Jackson Carbonell 4, Nicomille Caliging.
Quarterscores: 25-16, 44-37, 74-55, 90-80.
Brethren 90: Clifton Agasen 22, Roland Tiago 20, Xander Batanes 19, Charston Cho 9,. Jefferson Dennis 8, Mark Galian 8.
Mechatronics 84: Alfred Bulay 40, Karol Tiamzon 15, Jerome Publico 8, Lester Calamiat 6, Kyle Cuyugan6, Melvin Sagalen 5, John Michael Sito 2, Silver Tasing 2, Ivan Silaroy.