La Trinidad, Benguet – Crossroads withstood a spirited rally by TN to get its second championship in Second Strawberry Cup tournament last Sunday, June 7, 2015, at the La Trinidad Municipal Gymnasium. The Crossroads group finished the tournament two for two as it also took home the 35 and Up title two weeks ago.
Crossroads got off to a blazing start, taking a 24-8 lead, 2:55 left in the first. Angelo Mendoza had 10 points while Bart Parrocha contributed six in this run. Four baskets on each side would close the quarter 32-16, Crossroads up.
Two baskets each by Reagan Nabua and Emerson Esgana would trigger a 9-6 run that would increase this lead to 21, 43-22, midway in the second. Another exchange of baskets would run the score up to 52-31 before Mendoza would issue an assist to Mike Bucasan for a short jumper to give Crossroads its largest lead for the night at 23, 54-31, 1:27 left in the half. A reverse lay-up by Jovencio Caleno made the score 54-33 at lemon time.
TN made its move at the start third. After a twinner and a triple on each side, it engineered a 20-5 to chop the lead to just three, 63-58, with still 4:19 left in the third. Vonn Padilla scored two triples while Mark Del Rosario and Justinn Benter added five each during the run.
Crossroads, however, maintained their poise without even calling a timeout and drop a 9-0 counter attack to restore a safer 14 point lead, 72-58, time down to 2:37 in the third. Mendoza canned two baskets in this run. Another exchange would make it 79-66, time down to ten seconds before Padilla capped the third with a left quarter court triple as the buzzer for the end of the third sounded to narrow the gap to 10.
Then Crossroads drove the final nail. Mendoza would score five more as it dropped an 8-0 blast to start the fourth forcing TN for an early timeout, 89-69, three minutes into the fourth. In the ensuing plays for the next five minutes, it countered every basket TN makes with one of its own to seal the game,101-82, time down to 2:40.
TN would close the game on a 10-4 run to make the score look more respectable.
Crossroads 104: Nabua 29, Mendoza 25, Esgana 19, Parrocha 17, Robert Zaparita 8, Bucasan 6, Lee Consi.
TN 94: Gerald Abella 21, Jaylord Maluyo 16, Padilla 16, Benter 14, Caleno 10, Rey Gabino 8, Del Rosario 5, John Lee Laigo 2, King Pascual 2, Dave Sumadchat.
Quarterscores: 32-16, 54-33, 79-69, 104-94. 3 point shots made: Esgana 4, Mendoza 3, Parrocha 1, Nabua 1, Padilla 4, Abella 1, Maluyo 1.