THE San Sebastian Staglets showed might in blowing out the EAC-ICA Brigadiers, 97-77, in the NCAA Season 93 juniors basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Kenneth Villapando led the Staglets with 20 points and 13 rebounds, while Romel Calahat and Lewis Pasamante chipped in 14 and 12 markers, respectively.
San Sebastian trailed early before unleashing a 20-3 run, capped by Villapando and Daniel Rodriguez’s back-to-back treys in the finals minutes of the first quarter. The Staglets kept pounding to lead by as much as 34 points in the third, but EAC skipper Maui Cruz led the Brigadiers fightback to cut the gap down to 25, 70-45.
But the Staglets got their rhythm back in defense in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to clinch their third win in the season for a 3-5 record, while the Brigadiers fell to 1-7.
“Apat na player ko na nag-double-digit pero ang dami pa talagang mga lapses, ang dami pang hindi maintindihan ng mga player namin. Lumamang kami ng 34 points pero nakadikit pa yung kalaban kasi ang isip nila dahil lamang puro offense na lang, kaya dapat ipaintindi ko sa kanila na defense talaga ang nagpanalo sa amin, hindi offense,” San Sebastian coach Melo Banua said.
“Gagawin lang namin lahat, kahit sinong kalaban namin. Ilalagay ko sa mga utak ng player ko na maglaro kayo like wala na game kinabukasan, like every game is a championship game,” he added.
Cruz led the Brigadiers with 28 points, while Kerby Dularte and Lester Castillo scored 12 apiece.
The San Sebastian Staglets will play in their homecourt against the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers on August 24, while the Brigadiers will face the Perpetual Junior Atlas on August 22 at The Arena in San Juan.
SSC-R (97) – Villapando 20, Calahat 14, Pasamante 12, Cuntapay 11, Desoyo 9, Umayao 9, Rodriguez 9, Sumoda 9, Espiritu 4, Are 3, Timbacanya 3, Aguilar 0, Pelias 0, Magbanua 0, Suico 0.
EAC (77)- Cruz 28, Dularte 12, Castillo 12, De Quiros 10, Boado 6, Mananquil 4, Oriondo 3, Baliquig 0, Satillian 0, Tapales 0, Matilde 0, Mostoles 0, Diaz 0.
Quarters: 31-14, 54-30, 73-46, 97-77