St. Joseph survives Jireh, earns finals seat

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

ST. JOSEPH leaned on its second stringers to dispose twice-to-beat incentive holder Team Jireh in bracket C of the 8th Panagbenga Cup Invitational Basketball Tournament.

Second stringers Ralph Mendoza, Aries Lomatao, and Jun Ramos chipped in 23 big points to upset Jireh, 84 – 81, in the winner-take-all semis match at the Easter College gym recently.

"This victory really goes for the whole team, lahat nag-contribute especially our bench, who never failed to convert points," said playing coach Dave Stapely.


Mendoza, Ramos, and Lomatao chipped in a combined 15 points in the second half following the first game victory last week.

"We finally got the first finals seat and it’s an answered prayer for the team, hopefully we can do better than tonight during the championship," Stapely added.

It was a one-sided performance until late in the pay-off canto when the game had its first deadlock at 78-all, courtesy of a fastbreak by Team Jireh shooting guard Kits Ocawe with 2:40 left in the clock.

St. Joseph tried to stay in front but Ocawe scored another lay – up that gave Jireh its first taste of the lead 78-80, with 2:00 left in the ballgame.

St. Joseph then managed to recover the lead as former UB Cardinal Alvin Alindoza together with Bem Pimentel teamed up for an 82-81 advantage with 15.6 second left.

Jireh tried to come up with a last second play but the defensive efforts from St. Joseph forced a turnover as Pimentel added two more points from the free throw line.

Alindoza led St. Joseph with 22 points, with Pimentel adding 16, while Stapely chipped in 12.

Ocawe had a team high 21 points for Jireh including 14 in the fourth quarter, while Zaldy Rivera and Bong Rillera added 14 and 12 respectively. (Mark Victor Pasagoy)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 21, 2014.


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