Paul Moltio and Janner Epler came through with clutch baskets to lead KC Cathedral and the Theresians to survive cliffhangers in Season 3 of the Laity Cup last Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at the San Jose gym. But the story of the night might have to belong to the McDonalds Ephesians Team in a battle of cellar-dwellers. After being frustrated a bag a win in several close fought games, McDo finally got one in a masterful victory over the Latter Day Saints.
In their previous six games, McDonalds got beaten by only five points twice and six points twice. Even in the other games where they went down by an 11 and 10 point margin, they were still in the game during the fourth.
This time, there is no denying them of their first win. After taking the first half by a measly two points, 35-33, Marlon Cardonia and Vince Balatero scored seven and six points, respectively to start a third quarter run and go up by five, 52-47, at the end of the third.
Sherwin Gaceta then finished the job by connecting on two field goals and two freethrows to give McDonalds its 64th point and go out of reach of the Saints.
In the other games, Garrieth Dorian scored 20 while Janner Epler added 15 points in the first half to lead the Theresians to a 53-43 halftime lead against the Cordillera Career Development College Admirals but an 11 point third quarter explosion by Butch Diaz cut the lead to five.
Two drives, a freethrow and a triple from Raffy Panagan at the start of the third got the Admirals closer until a basket by Rodel Bongcato got them to only two, 94-92, under two minutes to go. Janner Epler, however, drilled a key basket and three pressure-packed freethrows to preserve the win.
The Knights of Columbus of Cathedral were trailing practically the entiroree game against COMELEC behind the usual hot hands of Rodel Villoria connected six triples and 11 freethrows through the third quarter but also collected four perrsonal fouls, including a technical foul due to a rule set by the league for using inappropriate language while on the court.
This foul became critical in determining the outcome of the game. After scoring two more triples at the start of the fourth to give COMELEC its 94th point, Villoria collected his final foul.
And the Knights of Cathedral know just what to do. Where the Stallions could not come up with answers with Villoria gone, Moltio scored 10 points, including a triple that give them the lead permanently, 105-104, while Dennis Billanes added seven to complete the comeback.
The Stallions got one last chance to go ahead but Julius Torres watched his the walk-off three pointer clanged the rim as the final buzzer sounded.
Theresians 106: Garrieth Dorian 30, Janner Epler 25, Keatch Luama-ang 17, Aries Garcia 16, Bert Balicdang 6,
Jake Beligan 6, Climpton Calong, Roland Gorio, Rodney Luma-ang.
CCDC 104: Kurt Panagan 22, Rodel Bongcato 22, Jaylo Lacaden 14, Nestor Cuilan 14, Butch Diaz 12, Jaylord Maluyo 12, Jordan Tagle 2, Jayvee Basilio.
Quarterscores: 18-28, 53-43, 77-72, 100-98. 3 Pt shots made: Dorina 5, Garcia 2, K Luma-ang 2, Epler 1, Panagan 4, Diaz 1.
McDonalds 76: Marlon Cardonia 25, Vince Balatero 24, Wziegler Sandoval 10, Sherwin Gaceta 10, Efren Jamon, Jr. 7, Melvin Destura, Simon.
Latter-Day Saints 61: Benson Cacayuran 44, Darwin Cuyan 4, Kenji Tolero 4, Benny Garcia 4, Jershon Rosimo 3, Richner Vitallino 2, Felix Nayusan, Gorby Nayusan, Jonathan Cuyansen, Orly Menzi.
Quarterscroes: 17-18, 35-33, 52-47, 76-61. 3 Pt shots made: Balatero 7, Sandoval 1, Cacayuran 5.
Scores of the second game are unavailable as of press time.