KUWAIT CITY, Sept 29: Jay Cabanilla scored 39 and Mark Assisten added 11 for K.A.I to outclass Kuwait Energy Company (KEC) 92-76, confirming their inclusion in the final 8 (quarter final) of the PBLK basketball inter-company series Friday at the Khaitan Sports Club.
The result puts K.A.I in fourth place with 8 wins and 4 losses. Ochoco also had 10 points and Estanislao 8 in the K.A.I win. Ochoco scored four of his 10 points in the final quarter as K.A.I cracked down and rallied in the final round for the game one win. Playing in his first season game, Rey, who ended the game with 6 points, connected on five of his six shot attempts in the first round as the K.A.I squad kept KEC at bay to end the first quarter 18-17.
KEC’s Effren Valera kicked off his campaign with an 8 point haul in the first half including four steals. The point guard finished with a total of 29 points despite making 2- of -12 in 3-pointers. KEC turned the ball over 9 times resulting in 12 K.A.I points in the first half.
K.A.I made a tactical change to their game following a double timeout in the third round. Cabanilla and Ochoco soon found themselves leading the K.A.I charge in the final half, and as his teammates set up around the 3-point arc, Cabanilla simply blew through open lanes to the basket repeatedly in the early moments of the third extending into the final stretch to confound the opposition defense that were showing signs of fatigue at that point.
The to and fro basket trips continued on both sides of the court to the end with K.A.I comfortably in the driver’s seat. Ryan’s last minute re-entry into the game saw KEC rump up the pressure in the face of heavy bombardment from the K.A.I side but time wouldn’t allow them to fully stitch up their wide deficit which stood at 16 points, 92-76 as the clock counted down to zero at the buzzer.
Meanwhile, third placed Kalexco managed to overpower Heisco 75-64 in a fiercely contested game 2 of the inter-company series. Vocalan, Labatos and Jhun led the Kalexco attacks to script the win. Vocalan made 24, Labatos 18 and Jhun 10.
Raymond Pacer scored 25 and Glean 19 points to pace Heisco in their loss. Heisco in the initial moments of the first round rushed to open up a 4-point lead, 23-19, scripted by Castro and Glean. Glean drew first blood for Heisco with a layup and went ahead to score 6 more vital points including a 2-pointer 10 minutes into the opening round. But it was Vocalan who hit two 3s in a span of just over 4 minutes late in the opening half for Kalexco to put his side ahead, 43-32 at the halftime break.
The second half saw Kalexco push up a notch as Vocalan, MVP of the game, single handedly took on the opposition defense, scoring eight points in the early moments of the third to key a game-changing 18-10 surge early in the quarter then followed up with another 2 points to send Kalexco ahead by two points, 46-38 at the turn of the round.
He also grabbed two of his team-high four steals during the spurt, finishing the third with a court-long dash and a layup to stretch Kalexco’s lead to 72-61 midway into the fourth round as the Kalaexco boys assumed control of the game.
But in the final stretch, Heisco clamped down on the Kalexco defense in an attempt to restore their advantage. But Heisco’s last minute turnovers sank them deeper into deficit, enabling Kalexco to finish in style at 75-64.
KEO Brunos managed to barely stay in the final 8 despite losing 55-72 to Baskin Robbins in game three of the series.