La Trinidad, Benguet – San Jose overcame a technical foul, an ejection and a 42 point explosion by Jovencio Caleño with a balanced attack to upend the Capitol Liturgical Choir, 90-84, to bag the championship of Season 1 of the Laity Cup held at the San Jose Gymnasuim, Poblacion La Trinidad, Benguet.
Janner Epler led the attack with 29 while being ably backed by Keatch Luma-ang with 23 and Lionel Bay-an with 21.
Caleño scored six points as capitol built an early lead 10-5 lead, 4:02 into the first quarter. Epler countered with six points to close the gap, 15-13, 2:12 left before Capitol close the quarter with a 6-3 run to restore a five point lead, 21-16.
Capitol opened the 2nd with a 5-2 to establish their biggest lead at 8, 26-18, forcing San Jose to call an early time out, a plot that effectively stopped Capitol’s momentum. As play resumed, Luma-ang scored seven points as the Joseans dropped a 12-2 bomb to have their first taste of the lead, 30-28. The second trey of Vince Waylon Sia gave San Jose its biggest lead in the first half, 33-28 as it was their turn to push capitol into a time-out, 4:31 before lemon time.
Like the Joseans earlier, Capitol responded with a 15-4 blast on the strength of Caleño’s 10 points to regain the lead at halftime, 43-39, and set-up a see-saw affair.
San Jose opened the 3rd with 8-4 run to knot the count, 47-all, 7:42 left before Agustin Paduyao sank a triple and Mark Del Rosario three straight free throws to anchor a 10-4 Capitol counter that had them regaining the lead, 57-51.
This proved to be their last taste of the lead as Epler scored four points to lead a 6-0 Josean run to tie the count for the last time 57-all, 4:12 remaining in the 3rd. Then Lionel Bay-an, Epler and Luma-ang scored four points each in as San Jose tried to pull away, 71-64, to end the quarter.
The start of the fourth saw sloppy shooting from both teams with Caleño being the only one consistent, scoring another eight points to put Capitol still within striking distance, 79-74, 4:12 left in the game.
A 10-4 Josean blast from another balanced attack, three points each from Bay-an and Epler and two points each from Mark Lee and Luma-ang, coupled with Capitol missing a number of open attempts, put the game away, 89-78, 1:11 remaining.
Bay-an said they prepared to deny Caleño the ball, or his move to the basket and distract plays centered on Del Rosario and Caleño. While they failed to do this as Caleño still did his thing and Del Rosario made 17, they were able to shut down the rest of the Capitol team from contributing. Both Bay-an and Luma-ang credited teamwork and size as the other factors of their winning the championship.
The Joseans’ hard route to this championship made its members feel satisfying and gratifying in the victory. They had to win its last match in the eliminations to secure a semi-final seat, defeated Justice twice in the semifinals and dealt Capitol its only loss of the tournament to become champions.
Couple that they have to come-from behind in the championship game as well. This made the win sweeter according to Luma-ang and Bay-an.
Road to the finals: Capitol, Joseans enter finals of Laity Cup via different route
Jovencio Caleño had another brilliant game as he led the Capitol Liturgical Choir in thrashing the Patrons, 106-86, in the semis of the Laity Cup, Season 1 at the San Jose gymnasium last July 29, 2014. With this victory, the Capitol Choir bagged the first finals seat.
Caleño scored 41 points in the rout. The Patrons had no match for him all evening. They tried fouling him but the move was ineffective as he converted nine attempts from the line. Mark Del Rosario backed him up with 24 points including four treys. Teofilo Albert and Jimson Argabis scored 29 and 24, respectively for the Patrons.
In the other game on July 29, the Joseans forced rubber match with the Justice as they rout their victims, 104-83. Johnnery Epler anchored a balance attack from the Joseans with 29 points, 12 of them coming in the fourth quarter. Lionel Bay-an, Mark Galian, and Keatch Luma-ang had 24, 18 and 17, respectively for the hosts. Raymond Albin scored 16 for the Justice.
San Jose grabbed the second finals seat with a repeat victory in the winner-take-all game the following day also held at the same venue, outlasting the Justice 82-77 in a closer match.
Epler and Luma-ang scored 26 points a piece for the Joseans to set up a date with the Capitol Liturgical Choir for the crown of the first season. Garrick Dinulong led Justice with 22 points while Albin and Kenjie Ameda chipped in 19 and 12, respectively.
|Laity’s Cup, Season 1|
|Series 1: Capitol Lithurgical Choir (1) 106, Patron (4) 86|
|Series 2: Justice (2) vs San Jose (3)|
|Joseans 106, Justice 98|
|Joseans 82, Justice 77|
|Joseans 90, Capitol Lithurgical Choir 84|
Road to the finals: Joseans barely gets by the Eliminations
July 23, 2014 games: The Joseans used a huge third quarter run to oust the Prodigals from the semi-finals, 106-98. The team engaged in a see-saw battle in the first half with neither team having a lead with more than 10. From a manageable eight point lead early in the third quarter, the Joseans dropped a 17-4 bomb to increase the lead to 21 points, 81-60. The Prodigals rallied with a 12-4 run to come closer 85-72 midway through the fourth quarter. San Jose, though, thwarted the rally and coasted the rest of the way to vault into the semi-finals where it would have to beat second placer Justice twice to enter the finals. In the other game, the SHC Heartthrobs outlasted the Shepherds 75-73 to close out the eliminations.
The capitol choir topped the eliminations sans a loss. It will meet the Patrons carrying a twice to beat advantage. The Patrons and the Prodigals finished tied at 4-3 record but the Patrons advanced to the semis on the strength of their win against the Prodigals. The ground rules states the “win over the other” rule breaks a tie. The semis are scheduled on July 29 and 30 while the finals will be on August 6.
|Laity Cup Season 1|
|End of Eliminations|
|Victory Global Warriors||7||2||5|
By: ARMANDO BOLISLIS