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ISAA 14 basketball finals: ICCT squeaks past La Consolacion, snatches Game 1 on Baculio game-winner


By Ricky Manliguis

ICCT Colleges banked on the heroics of main man Jun Reign Baculio at the buzzer to guide the Blue Dragons to a narrow 84-83 win over La Consolacion College Manila and snatch Game 1 of the Inter-Scholastic Athletic Association (ISAA) Season 14 seniors’ basketball finals at the Trinity University of Asia gym in Quezon City Wednesday.   

Bothered by cramps the whole second half, the junior guard scored a putback off a Mark Angelo Magno miss as time expired as the Cainta-based squad inflicted the defending champions Blue Royals its first loss of the season and move a win away from its maiden ISAA basketball title.   

Baculio finished with a double-double performance of 20 points and 10 rebounds, while issuing three assists and three steals. Carl Jeicel Torres and Mc Steven Esguerra each chipped in 12 markers, while John Kurth Mapua cashed in 11 for the Blue Dragons.

Magno was limited to only four points on a measly 2-of-13 shooting, yet snagged a team-best 11 boards.

It was a tight ballgame at the onset, with ICCT leading by as much as seven points at one point in the first half. But LCCM stormed back to tie the ballgame at 42 after the first 20 minutes of action.  

Things got interesting in the second half, with LCCM holding a slim 79-75 edge in the last three minutes of the fourth quarter. ICCT then mounted a comeback, even taking the lead by just a point, 82-81 with a little over a minute remaining.

John Michael Urmeneta scored off an ICCT foul to put LCCM back in the driver’s seat, 83-82. But that was all the Blue Royals could muster, as ICCT clamped down on defense and made key offensive rebounds in the ensuing plays, ending with Magno finding an open lane for a wide-open hook shot. He overshoots the mark, only for Baculio to outjump his defender and deliver the killing blow.   

“The players gave all that they had. They may be unknown players, but they wanted to prove that they belong in this sport,” echoed ICCT head coach Arvin Guinto in a post-game interview.

Guinto also lauded the effort of his veteran player Bacuilo, who had to be inserted back and forth during the crucial moments of the match because of cramps.

“Gusto talaga niya (Bacuilo) manalo. Siya nagsabi na ok siya, and I trusted him. Ayun, it paid off,” (He really wanted to win. He said he was ok and I trusted him. Good thing it paid off) Guinto later added.

Andrey Ober registered a game-high 21 points on a torrid 6-of-8 shooting from the three-point line for LCCM, even as Christian Alonzo and Urmeneta fired 19 and 17 markers, respectively.   

The Blue Dragons lorded it over the rebounding department, 53-34 (20 coming from the offensive glass), while shooting 14-for-19 (74%) from the foul line as compared to LCCM’s 4-of-18 (22%) clip.    

In the other game, the ALIAC Baby Phoenix set up a finals showdown with unbeaten LCCM with a narrow 67-65 win over the Treston Golden Cubs in their do-or-die game.

Brent Sumalinog led the ALIAC offensive with 25 points and five rebounds, while Jared Jay Ma├▒alac pumped in a 12-10 double-double with four blocks.

ICCT will go for the jugular this coming Saturday still at the Trinity University gym at 12 noon, following the seniors third place game between WCC ATC Skyhawks and Treston Golden Lions at 9 am, and the finals of the juniors division at 10:30 am.

Game 3, if necessary, will be on June 7.  


The Scores:

First Game:

ALIAC (67) – Sumalinog 25, Ma├▒alac 12, Resara 8, Lozano 6, Toldeo 6, Bulilan 6, Bathan 4, Canovas 0.

Treston (65) – Malay 22, Lasconia 18, Bonalos 8, Sarmiento 8, Rondael 7, Rivera 2, Lopez 0.

Quarterscores: 19-22, 39-36, 52-48, 67-65.


Second Game:

ICCT (84) – Baculio 20, Esguerra 12, Torres 12, Mapua 11, Virtucio 8, Soria 5, Magno 4, Castro 4, Arimado 2, Buban 2, Reyes 2, Rebollido 2, Camposo 0, Santos J. 0.  

LCCM (83) – Ober 21, Alonzo 19, Urmeneta 17, Postanes 10, Glariana 6, Cabal 5, Meneses 5, Castillo 0, Trinidad 0.   

Quarterscores: 22-28, 42-all, 60-65, 84-83. 

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