KUWAIT CITY, Oct 11: Thomas scored 28, Carlos added 18 and Aquasan Gilas went on to win 65-52 against Taxi Slashers in the second conference of the Kuwait Philippines Basketball Association (KPBA) League Friday afternoon at the Sultan Centre Sports Complex in the Qadsia Sports Club, Hawally.
Aquasan jumped to an early lead in the first eight minutes of the opening half on the backs of Carlos and Thomas who alternated in the barrages to script an 18-17 first half run. The Slashers were gripped by early game jitters despite their coach calling a timeout as they fell behind 11-8 just three and a half minutes into the game. The timeout paid off as they rallied to a near standoff at the break of halftime.
Thomas found his scoring boots early in the third round, simply blowing through open lanes to the basket repeatedly as his team mates set up around the 3-point line. Slashers didn’t have an answer at that point. The wily point guard finished with a game-high 28 points with Carlos adding 18 and six rebounds.
A Marvin three-pointer, his second in the game, further sent Aquasan zooming ahead 5 points clear four minutes into the third but Taxi Slashers stepped up their defense to regain control and, with Lolois finding his range from beyond the arc, entered the fourth with a 14-17 score line that clawed back their deficit.
But Aquasan appeared to tighten their grip on the game, Victor pouring in another three-pointer and then grabbing a steal off a poor Sunny pass for a layup to hand his team a 51-42 cushion.
But again the Slashers hit back, an unbroken 4-0 run trimming Aquasan’s lead to 58-50 before a spectacular Michael three-pointer, with less than four minutes left, brought the scores to 59-52. But Thomas responded with two three-pointers of his own to further add to Aquasan’s lead 65-52 with seconds left and Aquasan held on to stay alive with a 65-52 win.
Meanwhile, Desert Force dominated the field to beat Boyz Avenue 86-65 in game 2 of the conference. Boyz Avenue who had a poor start to their campaign, trailed by 13 points at the close of the opening round, 23-10. But a rally in the second ignited by Batang saw the Avenue Boys’ scores edge up, even as they continued to be bombarded from the field by Desert Force’s Sollano and his crew.
A 12-point fourth quarter play by Avenue’s Batang was followed by 2 more in the round, capped by a series of dunks down the stretch to claw back the deficit. Sollano got the final four points of the fourth quarter, making a pair of free throws after he was clobbered intentionally on a breakaway by Avenues’ James, and then banking in a jumper that made it 86-65 to close the game.
Also in the third game, Briones and Frias each had 24 points, Briones scoring nine of his 24-point haul in the final quarter as 5R Brothers overcame a first round inertia to beat Bahay Kubo by a single point 75-74 in Game 3 of the series. In the last game, IFSI lost 45-56 to Bisdak.
By Iddris Seidu
Arab Times Staff