Wednesday, April 13, 2016

STI College Koronadal secures second Group A slot

The Battle for the rebound

STI College Koronadal secured the second slot in Group A of the 2016 STI National Basketball Tournament National Finals week by beating STI College Las Pinas 60  - 46 and put itself in contention to win the National crown. STI College Koronadal is the back-to-back Mindanao champions and is poised to improve their fourth place finish from last year.  Veteran Forwards Bernard Caguisano and Norman Puerto scored 15 points apiece to lead the balance attack of the Mindanao champs who will face STI West Negros University in the cross-over semifinals.

Christopher Jutie on the fastbreak

STI College Las Pinas started the game with so much energy while STI College Koronadal started the game somewhat flat as the Las Pinas dribblers took an early 10 – 3 lead thanks to the fastbreak plays of Cris Jutie and jumpers of Paolo Negrido. STI College Koronadal eventually sued for time, battled back with Caguisano and Puerto and the first quarter ended with the Mindanao champs only a basket behind as first 10 minutes ended with STI College Las Pinas on top 14 – 13.
Dan Ignacio scores

 The second quarter was a defensive quarter as STI College Las Pinas forced the South Cotabato cagers to 12 turnovers which netted them six points. Cris Jutie was the only one to light up the board as his eight points was the total score of STI College Las Pinas in the second quarter. STI College Koronadal on the other hand forced the other players to miss as Jutie’s teammates were a combined 0 for 12. STI College Koronadal controlled the boards 13 – 9 and stayed in striking distance as the quarter ended with STI College Las Pinas on top with a solitary point 22 – 21.

Cris Valencia floats in mid-air

In the third quarter, Cris Jutie scored back to back baskets to give STI College las Pinas a five point lead 26 – 21. After that, Kenneth Libdan answered with a jumper while Dalton Balidoy scored on a free throw to give the Las Pinas cagers a 27 – 23 lead with five and a half minutes to go. It was at this point that STI College Koronadal made a run that gave them the lead and the momentum of the game. Bernard Caguisano Jr. combined with Cris Valencia, Kenneth Libdan and Paolo Soliva to drop a 12 – 2 bomb that gave the Koronadal team the lead for good 35 – 29 at the end of the third quarter.

Dalton Balidoy drives to the hoop

In the fourth quarter, STI College Las Pinas tried its last ditch stand to salvage a win as Dalton Balidoy’s offense awakened as the wily forward scored seven fourth quarter points but unfortunately his efforts went for naught as STI College Koronadal’s defense became harder to puncture while their offense went to overdrive. Norman Puerto and Dan Ignacio punctured the hoops to crush the last stand of the Las Pinas cagers and earn the Mindanao champions their second final four appearance.  STI College Koronadal will face last year’s 2nd runner-up STI West Negros University for a ticket to the 2016 STI NBT Finals.

Koronadal defenders shackle Mark Ruallo

The scores:
Caguisano Jr.15, Puerto 15, Libdan 12, Ignacio 7, Valencia 7, Soliva 4, Caugisano J. 0, Castillo 0, Famulag 0, Morte 0, Sulit 0

Jutie 18, Balidoy 8, Negrido 8, Faelden 4, Nonoyama 3, Ruallo 3, Ocampo 2, Gutay 0, dela Cruz 0, Pascual 0, Rico 0, Vanderlipe 0

Quarter scores:
14 – 13, 22 – 21,    35 - 29, 60 - 46

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