Determined Expat Pinoy hold off PSK Balik Islam too strong for Rebels

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 22:  The weekend’s Al-Ektisad Exchange Company/Ultimate Tailoring sponsored PHILBACK 8th conference tournament games saw a series of tough fights with Expat Pinoy downing PSK 68-62 in the opening fixture. In the 5’8” division group A encounter, Rodriguez drew first blood for Pinoy with a 2-pointer in a swift move, paving the way for PSK’s Dhey to open coring for his side in the second minute. The game went Pinoy’s way from the get go as Faderon got himself into the frame with Rodriguez in offense to finish the first round seven points ahead, 20-13. Rodriguez was the tip of the Pinoy spear, leading the charge with 17 points while team mate Federon chipped in 16 to thicken the plot. PSK gained a breather only in the second quarter when they were appearing to open a gap with one lead basket, 27-26. But the determined Pinoys clawed back, finishing the third quarter 45-41 and then going on to nail the victory in the last quarter with a heavy lead at 68-62. Dhey contributed 14 in the PSK fight and frequently made forays into opposition turf, but with lackluster support from the rest of the team, he fought a losing battle from the start.

In a low-scoring humdrum on court 1, Gopez scored 14 points to lead Boiz Avenue to a 49-36 win over DND. The game was a wee skewed, with a star-studded Avenue blowing craters in the DND defense in the early rounds which saw both sides make a very slow start to the game, exploiting their chances to the fullest and finishing the first half 29-26, advantage Avenue.
Guitierez for Avenue was the early architect of the DND devastation, with support from Gopez and Baltazar, who was smoldering for a blast in the later rounds that ended in a final 49-39 win for Boiz Avenue. Guitierez finished with 14 markers for Avenue while Quilong who was the frontline warrior for DND in the game, scored 10 in their lost battle.
The match between Los Pinas Rebels and Balik Islam had an amazing twist in the tail when Balik Islam trumped the Rebels with a yawning gap of 41 points, 79-38. A first-quarter score of 20-9 titled in Balik’s favor had few ready for what was coming. Balik’s De La Cruz took Rebels by storm shooting a barrage of baskets ending up the leading scorer of the match at 12. The tornado unleashed by De La Cruz rubbed on to teammates, who made decisive contributions, of note the 10 from Alipar. Dennis and Ron scored 12 and 9 apiece to pace Los Pinas Rebels in their loss.

Meanwhile TSC-Shaab stole into a last-ditch win against Legend in the fourth 5’8 match of the tourney, leading by just 2 points as Santos held his nerves to find the last two crucial baskets of the match. Santos dealt the opposition ring the heaviest pounding scoring 12 for TSC, almost a tenth of his team’s total points. Torilto, the cliffhanger shooter, pitched the scoring higher by 8 points.
The score board seesawed between the teams in every quarter, with Legend leading in the first round 13-11 and TSC just a point ahead in the second at 25-24. Adrenalin peaked in the last two quarters, as the baskets seared with shots and counter shots. Third quarter ended with both teams tied at 34-34.  A series of one-point shots by TSC-Shaab in the dying seconds of the match, answered neck-to-neck by Legend kept the game alive, bringing fans to the edges of their seats.
As pressure mounted on the Legends with just seconds to go and scores tied at 52-52, Santos lobbed a 2-pointer into the Legend basket to nail the win for his side at the buzzer. The game ended at 54-52 for TSC-Shaab.

KPC-IPC conceded defeat, 57-73, to HASAWI, who dominated the 5’8” group D game throughout the four quarters. KPC-IPC put up a fight that did not reflect on the scores. Alvin was the top scorer for Hasawi at 21 followed by Daniel who scored 15. IPC displayed more of a team game with three of its players scoring within close range. Manalasan made 13, Saldiver 10 and Daniel 10.
The last quarter saw the heaviest scoring and both teams were at their aggressive best. The momentum graph dipped a wee bit in the second quarter only to race up once again in the third and go ballistic in the last. A total of 38 points were scored in the last round, of which Hasawi shot 22 to scamper to a comfortable win, 73-57.
The Marco Vincent vs U Luv-Mi-OK match was another lobsided encounter with Vincent finishing home with 67 points against the 38 for U-Luv. It was clear who the superior team was from the beginning, as U-luv seemed uninterested in hazarding an upset. The script was predictable as the scores progressed 18-9, 31-17, 49-29 and finally 67-38 in each quarter with Vincent’s nose sticking out. Costales with 12 points and Maghirang with 11 led the Marco Vincent charge. Viernes with a game-high 14 stood tall among the U-Luv players.

Meanwhile, United Alliance outplayed Tipple-R in a one-sided game to a 75-55 win. Alliance led the game in all quarters with Doralat Malone, Hernandez and De La Cruz netting 13, 12 and 10 to lead scorers in that order. Patilla and Rogue led all scorers in the game at 18 and 15 to pace the Tripple-R lost effort.
In the next 5’8 game Nature Spa elbowed out Kuwait Flour Mills 52-50. The match from the outset seemed one-sided in favor of Burger King in the first quarter as they finished 12-8 against a slow-starting Nature Spa side. Both teams fought hard in the in the second quarter to tie at 18-18 with an overall 4-point lead for KFM.
Spa’s Mark Palomaria and Rico were determined to mend fence with some dashing play and were able to lead their side to a narrow third round 33-30 lead which saw them whittle down the deficit to one point.  The final round saw both sides spike up their games with Palomaria becoming uncontainable, leading with his barrage to secure the 52-50 win for Nature Spa. Palomaria scored 25 in the win while Mendoza paced KFM with 18 in their loss.

In the first Inter-Company game of the day, Nasser Sports Center-NSC edged Go-Sport 73-70 to clinch their first win of the new season. Bladie who finished the game with 24 markers, scored 19 points in the first three rounds, challenged by Go-Sport’s Moje’s 17, to finish the third quarter tied at 54-54. Entering the final stretch, both sides seemed to maintain their momentums with the ball crisscrossing the court and hitting the baskets.
Nasser Sports Center had the better part of the exchanges and the last laugh when Dignos who finished with 23 points overall, threw a distant 3-pointer in the final seconds to break the 70-70 tie, handing the victory to NSC at 73-70. Moje of Go-Sports tied with NSC’s Bladie at 24 in the game.
Quiambao led First Kuwaiti to a 69-50 win over Heisco in another Inter-Company match of the day. The First Kuwaiti squad overcame a second round Heisco rally that ended in a 34-34 tie for both sides, still leaving First Kuwaiti 2 points ahead from the first round 16-14.
The rounds ended 16-14, 34-34, 45-35 and 69-50, quieting rowdy fans for an easy trot home for First Kuwaiti. But Heisco bellwether Al-Os was unwilling to give up without a fight, breaking out his ammunition in the last quarter. Quiambao finished with 24 points for the First Kuwaiti win while Al-Os scored 18 for his losing side.

The Spy squad were dominant, finishing 80-73 against Burger King Restaurant in another 5’8 game in the day. Nino Canlas and TJ scored 31 and 18 in the Spy win while Robledo scored 23 with Pangatungan chipping in 21 to pace the Burger King loss.
Elsewhere in group B of the 5’8” division, Rated-PG thrashed Mismo 48-37, Santiago and De La Cruz leading the charge in the win with 14 and 13 points. Mismo led the first half, 32-25 on the backs of Lito De Guzman and Carizal who partnered to score 12 between them in the period. The third and final rounds were a different story as PG found their scoring boots, taking the lead in the third and fourth rounds, 31-26 and finally 48-37 to finish 11 points ahead.
In the penultimate game between Jelmer and Derby, the former scampered to finish 24 points ahead of Derby, 71-47. For the most part Jelmer dominated, but Derby too had their moments.
Empire and Allies had to bow to Panasonic, 46-33 in the final game. Allies gave the fight, at one stage getting close to tying with the opposition on the scoreboard at 27-29. But the Panasonic Group was a bunch of hardy fighters, especially Tabano, who was a tough cookie to handle. The match ended 46-33, safe in the hands of Panasonic.

By: Iddris Seidu

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