LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Keith Riders built an early cushion that would eventually helped them turn a late fourth quarter Giants rally to bag the championship of the fifth season of the La Liga Buguias – Mayor Tinda-an Cup, last August 6, 2017 at the La Trinidad Municipal Gym, here.
Charlie Lubuat scored nine points while leading the Riders open an early lead by dropping a 23-6 bomb early in the first to set the table.
The Giants, however, quickly responded with a 20-7 counter attack to inch back, 30-26, midway through the second. Ace Baiwes scored six straight points during the run.
Dindin Abat then canned two baskets and two freethrows to lead the Riders in closing the first half hostilities with a 12-6 run to increase their lead to 10 at halftime.
They again opened the third with an 18-15 scoring edge to up their lead to 13, 61-44, halfway in the third behind Kenneth Antonio’s quick drives.
The Giants, however, would fish for Antonio’s fifth foul and ignite a serious comeback.
Joven Garibay scored 11 points while Dhanvic Garibay had six to lead a 27-15 blast to dangerously come close of the lead, 74-76.
Lubuat, who had to momentarily leave during the Ginats run due to a bloodied nose, came back on the floor to score six straight to stabilize the Riders’ scoring and restore an eight point lead, 82-74, which broke the back of the Giants.
Lubuat’s heroics earned the best player of the finals. He is also the best player of the entire season.
Meanwhile, Highlander bagged the bronze by downing Dom, 74-68, in the battle for third game.
Keith Riders 88: Charlie Lubuat 26, Tristan Antonio 17, Genesis Vergara 16, Din-din Abat 12, Kenneth Antonio 12, Allan Bataclao 5, Ryan Comiles, Juan Antonio, Dangka Shin Ciano.
Giants 80: Joven Garibay 22, Dhanvic Garibay 18, Mikel Maliones 10, Ace Baiwes 6, Cedric Calica 6, Earl Agayao 5, Ismael Palbusa 5, Roldan Sacda 4, Paul Agayao 2, Winston Camti 2, Gejon Potpotan, Orly Garibay.
Quarterscores: 23-10, 42-32, 68-59, 88-80
3pt shots made: K. Antonio 2, Vergara 2, Lubuat 1, Garibay 4.
By: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS