La Trinidad, Benguet – The Joseans overturn almost formidable Isaac leads and maintained their focus from the effects of physical plays to bag the second Strawberry Cup’s 40’s Bracket crown last Sunday, May 30, 2015, at the La Trinidad Municipal Gymnasium.
Gerald Catanglan connected a half court buzzer beating triple and John Kiniway scored four straight unanswered points in 13 seconds, baskets that would prove to be critical in preventing Isaac leads to swell and let the Joseans stay in the game, while Dexter Agustin had 13 fourth quarter points to ignite a rally to deal Isaac its second loss in championship games. The 35 and Up team of Isaac fell to the Crossroads last May 27 in their first attempt at a crown.
Isaac looked good early as a balanced scoring spree got them to a 21-14 lead after the first. After San Jose came closer with a 6-2 attack, Isaac dropped a seemingly crippling 20-6 bomb to take a 13 point lead, 3 seconds left before lemon time.
It’s when Cantanglan connected on his parking lot heave. He took the inbound pass in the backcourt, had two quick dribbles, fired a rainbow shot just after passing the half court line and watched the ball go through the net on a straight bank to settle for a 10 point halftime deficit, 43-33.
More importantly, the shot started a momentum shift that would spill over the next quarter for the Joseans. Joseph Orinion opened the third canto with a triple, followed by another triple by Stanford Garcia. After Samson Pascual answered with a connection from downtown, the Joseans answered back with three layups, one by Agustin of a steal, one more from an outlet pass and another from Kiniway, also from an outlet pass. This would ran the score to 48-45, Isaac still up.
Both teams traded baskets until the 1:13 mark, Isaac up, 59-56. Pascual connected on a drive, Joey Bona canned a freethrow while Joseph Arquero drilled in two more in an Isaac 5-0 run to make it 64-56, time down to 30 seconds. Again, the Joseans responded appropriately to avoid letting the game slip away. Kiniway canned a basket with 21 seconds left and two freethrows from penalty shots to reduce the deficit to four, 60-64, at the end of the third and again carried this momentum into the fourth.
Agustin opened the final canto with a triple from right quarter court while Rommel Panabang connected of a Gerry Rigos assist to momentarily take the lead, 65-64. Isaac answered with a Pascual three-point play, a Joey Bona putback and a Sherwin Galgala lay-up off a Pascual steal and assist to retake the lead, 71-67, 7:51 left.
Kiniway threw an outlet to Orinion for a twinner then Rigos grabbed a defensive rebound and riffled another outlet pass to Agustin who completed a three-point play as the Joseans took the driver’s seat for good. After Pascual made one of two from the stripe to tie the game, Bona and Rigos were whistled for a double technical foul that would send Rigos to the showers.
The Joseans, after issuing some protests and disagreements to the game referees, got their heads back in the game to ignite a 10-0 bomb to go up 82-72, 3:12 left. After Dodie Mendillo putback a miss and Galgala laid up off a steal, Orinion canned a free throw and Catanglan drove and dished off to Agustin for a lay-up to ice the game.
Joseans 87: Agustin 23, Orinion 15, Kiniway 14, Rigos 9, Garcia 6, Catanglan 5, Emerson Fermo 4, Panabang 4, Wilmore Gondales 4, Tom Babsa-ay, Jr. 3, Brian Mahusay, Ervin Manuel.
Isaac 79: Bona 27, Pascual 16, Galgala 12, Arquero 7, Jimmy Doligas 6, Rommel Basali 5, Mendillo 4, Christopher Sinong 2, Jack Sobrino, Jimwell Generosa, Joseph Calaycay, Norvie Toledo, Sipong Comiles.
Quarterscores: 14-21, 33-43, 60-64, 87-79. 3 point shots made: Orinion 2, Catanglan 1, Babsa-ay, Agustin 1, Garcia 1, Pascual 3. Basali 1. Freethrows made: Agustin 4, Kiniway 4, Rigos 3, Orinion 1, Garcia 1, Bona 5, Arquero 3, Galgala 2, Doligas 2, Pascual 1.