LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Isaac ended it campaign with more than satisfactory result as they bag two titles at the conclusion of the five-division G-String Cup last February 26, 2017 at the La Trinidad Municipal Gymnasium.
Isaac, a common fixture with multiple team entries in the leagues conducted at La Trinidad, fielded entries in four of the five brackets of the sixth season of the G-String Cup. All four entries advanced to the semifinals, three entered the finals and two emerged as champions.
Isaac’s G4 and 40s entries were the top seeds, the G5 entry as second seed, and the G3 entry as fourth seed. Only the G3 team failed to advance and the G4 team was barely beaten in the championship rounds.
The UC students-filled Isaac five outlasted DRJ, 95-91, to grab the G5 crown while team owner Rommel Basali, Sr. led Isaac to the 40s jewel over the Isaiah 7:14 Bulldogs, 99-78.
Incidentally, Basali, Sr. almost gave his team a third crown when he engaged Gardenville’s Jason Serrano to a shootout before yielding the G4 crown. Gardenville won via a squeaker, 96-90.
The Isaac-DRJ match was tight all the way. It was all tied up late in the fourth at 89-all. Rommel Basali, Jr. sank two freebies to push Isaac ahead but Russel Yacat recovered the ball for DRJ after a Christopher Sinong steal and converted a lay-up to knot it again at 91-all, under a minute to go.
Yacat had an opportunity to push DRJ back to the lead when he went for a fake and was fouled but could not cash in on the two freethrows.
Jr. Ignacio grabbed the rebound and was sent to the line for two shots, 12.50 seconds to go. He missed one to leave the door open for DRJ but Sinong took over possession on a steal from the blind side to seal the deal.
Isaac took off early in the 40s match, grabbing an early 22-14 before the Bulldogs made it closer, 45-39, at the half.
Johnny Batanes eight points in an Isaiah 14-8 run to tie the score, 53-all, at the 5:50 mark of the third.
Then Isaac uncorked their vicious reply. They tightened the shackles on the Bulldogs and went berserk on their end of the scoreboard, dropping 21 unanswered points to grab an insurmountable 74-53 lead to end the third.
Benjie Lorente and Michael Hermosado scored six each to start the run while Basali, Sr. capped the run with a buzzer beating triple to end the third canto.
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The scores (G5):
UC-Isaac 95: Sinong 18, Jr Ignacio 17, Christian Espinoza 15, Jesdan Labawig 13, Jimwell Generoso 11, Basali, Jr. 9, Demerson Daping 7, John Sta. Maria 5, Patrick Celo.
DRJ 91: Alex Urbano 30, John Paul Abrenica 20, Yacat 19, Jerico Portuguez 13, Albert Pacia 3, Roy Urbano 2, Michael Araquel 2, Junjun Dizon 2, Jazzper Bautista, Reymond Roque.
3 point shots made: Ignacio 2, Daping 1, Sta. Maria 1, Portuguez 3, Abrenica 1.
The scores (40s):
Isaac 99: Lorente 27, Hermosado 12, Albin Santos 11, Basali, Sr. 9, Sinong, Jimmy Doligas 7, Jack Sobrino 6, Joseph Arquero 5, Jimwell Generoso 5, Sherwin Galgala 4, Dodie Mendillo 4.
Isaiah 7:14 Bulldogs 78: Batanes 30, Joseph Orinion 11, Donald Colanta 10, Arnel Santos 9, Stanford Garcia 6, Noel Dahlen 4, Gerard Catanglan 4, Tom Babsa-ay.
3 point shots made: Basali Sr. 3, Doligas 1, Al Santos 1, Orinion 2, Ar Santos 2, Cantanglan 1.
By: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS