Champions Inter Company Div-Americana Nuggets Team.
Nuggets clinch Inter Company trophy Al Ghanim floor Kuwait Steel for 2nd runner-up spot

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 7: Fidiron and Contales combined to score 36 points powering Americana Nuggets to a 71-65 victory over Ikea to clinch the Inter Company Divisional Championship trophy at the PHILBACK conferences played over the weekend. Americana was in complete control of the game in the first half as Fidiron and Guevara jointly directed play and took turns at the hoop to finish 53-29. Birnie Marquez drew first blood for Ikea with a 3-pointer, followed quickly by another 2-pointer but his colleagues largely failed to pick up after him, except for Villanueva’s single point that made up Ikea’s 6 for the first round against Americana’s 19. It was in the third round that Ikea lifted up their game to come close to the Americana in their blitz, effectively reinserting themselves into the frame for the championship. But with Costales coming of age in the final round to contribute to the deluge, Americana won the day, albeit narrowly, 71-67, to lift the trophy. Fidiron scored 21, Costales 15 and Guevara 14 to validate the victory. In the Ikea loss, Marquez scored 18, Villanueva 11 and Sauco 9.

The Western Union Money Transfer sponsored tournament over the weekend saw one championship game played for the Inter-Company Division as well as group finals for groups A, B, C and D of the 5’8” division. Second and third runner-up games in the Inter-Company division were also played to make up for the 6-game schedule for the weekend. Awards and trophies were handed out to deserving winning teams as well as individual players, coaches and officials.
With Ikea having been pushed to the first runner-up spot after losing to Americana, the battle for second and third runner-up spots in the Inter-Company division was fought between Al-Ghanim and Kuwait Steel with the former carrying the day to clinch the second runner-up spot.
Star-studded OIC Bolts gave Burger King Restaurant a drubbing, 77-66 to win the group B contest of the 5’8” Division, Dirk Basco and Jake dictating the pace with their deluges to power the Bolts to a comfortable finish.
While the Bolts scores were spread out across board, the restaurateurs relied mainly on Eddie Pangatuan and Mabala who delivered 26 and 16 apiece, together accounting for 42 of their side’s 66. Basco shot 23 while Jake added 13 in the Bolts’ win to lead the group.

Azkals notched a bare-knuckle 97-86 overtime win against Rasta as the group D finals game went down to the wire to end finish 74-74 in full time. With all their best players in place, both sides vied for the win with Azkals nosing ahead to a 22-18 first quarter lead, courtesy Don Don De La Cruz, Norman Rustia and Jayson Santillan who took turns at the hoop. The Rasta challenge wasn’t far off as De La Cruz, Gabutero and Pacete rallied in the second round in reply to the Azkals broadside, but could only get to narrow the deficit to a single point, 36-37 at the end of the round. The third and fourth rounds saw both teams tie at 59-59 and finally 74-74 at full time. The resultant overtime period saw the feisty Azkals side, led in scoring by De La Cruz to bring them to a gnashing 97-86 victory. Don Don De La Cruz and his namesake on the other side, Jon De La Cruz were tied at 28 points to lead all scorers in the game.
In the other 5’8 division finals, Matrix won 76-67 against Tyramed to top group C while CGC-Suns prevailed over Marco Vincent 58-54 to win the group A finals.

Winners in the Inter-Company Division were as follows:
n Champion: Americana Nuggets
n 1st Runner-up: Ikea
n 2nd Runner-up: Al-Ghanim
n 3rd Runner-up: Kuwait Steel
n Finals MVP - Joel Alesna of Americana Nuggets.

The Mythical-5 members of the Inter-Company group were:
n Erwin Fidiron - American
n Joel Alesna - Americana
n Daryl Sauco - Ikea
n Arnold De Leon - Al-Ghanim
n Jon Jon Labadan of Kuwait Steel.


By: Iddris Seidu

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