La Trinidad, Benguet – The Levites outlasted the Latter Day Saints in an early battle of erstwhile unbeaten Ephesians teams while the Kibungan-Tublay-Bokod Apostles continued their impressive showing after an opening match loss by whacking the Holy Knights in the Corinthians Division of the Second Season of the Laity Cup at the San Jose Gymnasium last May 21, 2015.
The Levites overcame a stubborn Latter Day Saints, 74-69, during a showdown of early leaders in the Ephesians Division during the first game last Wednesday. Benjie Madriaga scored 20 points while Cipriano Comiles, Sr. had 16 to led the Levites.
Entering the fourth quarter with a slim 53-49 lead, the Levites uncork a 11-6 blast to extend the lead to nine, 64-55. Comiles contributed a three point play and a drive while Madriaga converted a bank side jumper and a drive during the run. After Benson Cacayuran broke the Saints’ silence with a trey, the Levites went on another 8-2 run to seal the game with their biggest lead of the night, 72-60, time down to 3:16.
The Saints tried a last ditch stab at the lead by dumping nine points and limiting the Levites to just two free throws to close the gap, 74-69, 50 seconds left. A series of undecisiveness to intentionally foul and inability to control the defensive rebound lead to the Levites successful strategy of wasting the time in the remainder of the game.
The game was so close that no team led by more than four points at the end of each quarter with the Levites taking the first by one, the second by two, and the third by four.
In the second game, the KTB Apostles overcame an early 16-9 deficit by a strong first quarter finish then kicked off the second with a 20-5 start to pull ahead. By the time the second quarter ended, the Apostles are well on their second straight victory after their loss to the Theresians in their first game, 49-32, and never looked back with timely hits to defuse the Knights mini-rallies.
Nicomille Caliging scored six early points while Chester Zambrano added a triple to help the Holy Knights establish that early lead. This, however, woke the Apostles. After a quick time-out, Jovencio Caleno and Eric Aoay dumped six points each while Jeffrey Buton and Boggs Basquial added four each to took over the lead for good.
Coming from the half-time lull, the Apostles pressed the accelerator further by igniting a 20-12 attack to increase the lead to 25, 69-44. The Knights answered back with a 10-2 run to somewhat chop the lead to 19, 71-52, but Caleno quickly replied with two putbacks, two freethrows and an assist to a streaking Rolly Paleng for an 8-0 run that gave the Apostles their biggest lead of 27, 79-52, 11 seconds left in the third.
The Knights tried more tries but each time the Apostles scored hits to defuse them. Four Knights score two points each for eight points in their first attempt but Edgar Calgo canned a triple for the counter, 85-60, midway through the fourth. The Knights had another 8-0 run in their second attempt spiked by Caliging’s three-point play, 85-69. Jeffrey Buton scored two baskets in reply, one of them after three misses, to end the threat.
Levites 74: Madriaga 20, Comiles, Sr. 16, Hazen Binay-an 11, Chris Pacdit 11, Cipriano Comiles, Jr. 9, Allan Contero 3, Brian Camhit 2, Arthur Bataclao 2, Eugeneson Gayasco.
Latter Day Saints 69: Cacayuran 30, Alny Gerald Garambas 13, Kenji Tolero 10, Darwin Cuyan 8, Jonathan Cuyasen, 4, Felix Nayusan 2, Floyd Gorby Nayusan 2.
Quarterscores: 16-15, 33-31, 53-49, 74-69.
KTB Apostles 93: Caleno 24, Buton 22, Calgo 13, Eric Aoay 8, Basquial 8, Gusval Bolislis 8, Haggard Pantaleon 6, Rolly Paleng 4, Hoven Bolislis.
Holy Knights 76: Caliging 19, Kipler Balagsa 14, Chester Zambrano 14, Erick Pamogas 12, Rosilo Kitab 10, Jackson Carbonell 3, Allan Jimeno 1, Aljon Jimeno.
Quarterscores: 23-21, 49-32, 79-53, 93-76.