PPG Paint outlasts Saipan Vegas 74-70

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IT was a battle of equals as the game was filled with exciting exchanges, but when it mattered most, it was PPG Paint that pulled through with the clutch shots to beat Saipan Vegas 74-70 on Sunday in the Masters Division of the United Filipino Organization-IT&E Basketball League at the Gilbert C. Ada Gym.

PPG Paint’s Galulu protects the ball as he drives toward the hoop during Sunday’s game of the UFO-IT&E Basketball League at the Gilbert C. Ada Gym.
PPG Paint’s Ebuen pulls up for the long jumper during Sunday’s game of the UFO-IT&E Basketball League at the Gilbert C. Ada Gym.  Photos by James F. Sablan Jr. 

The opening quarter was a perimeter show as Saipan Vegas’ Bisana and Moises lit up the scoreboard with a combined 10 points. However, PPG Paint quickly erased the gap thanks to the one-man show of Ebuen and his reliable short-range jumper, scoring 13 points and ending the opening quarter with his team trailing by just one point.

Saipan Vegas maintained the steady pace but this time with Cortez taking over the floor with back to back buckets contributing 12 points, with Bisana right by his side with 10 points to give their team a five-point lead.

Luckily for PPG Paint, its players’ persistency paid off as they applied more pressure on the defensive end and prevented open shots. With each successful stop, PPG Paint’s Elchico filled for Ebuen’s absence to lead the run with eight points while the rest of the team chipped in a few buckets. PPG Paint trailed 59-64 by the end of the third canto.

Despite Saipan Vegas holding the lead for most of the night, its players could not keep the fire burning long enough as they started to fall apart during the final quarter. Defense was still a major factor as PPG Paint blocked off nearly every lane. And with each Saipan Vegas miss, PPG Paint capitalized on the other end as Ebuen found his second wind sinking two triples along with four more points to snatch control.

Saipan Vegas’ Cortez tried to keep his team alive but his solo performance was not enough to match PPG Paint’s teamwork. PPG Paint won, 74-70.

GSM Hoopaholics 65, AK-Toyota Wheelers 58

The GSM Hoopaholics shared a similar story as they had to fend off the AK-Toyota Wheelers in the Open Division.

The Hoopaholics started strong as nearly every player on the team had a feel for the ball. They showed their balanced offense to take the lead, 19-7. More of the same was seen in the second quarter as speed and power kept them at a 10-point distance.

But after the halftime break, the Wheelers started to find their footing and to slowly cut down the lead. Brennan and Ferrer found their confidence from beyond the arc, sinking a triple each to reduce the gap, 46-54.

Brennan and Ferrer continued to fight back, but time was not on their side, and thanks to Aughenbaugh’s eight crucial points, the Hoopaholics were able to secure the win, 65-58.

Joining the winner’s circle was Islander Rent-A-Car which pounded Saipan Vegas 90-63.

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