STI College Malolos flirted with disaster but regained their bearing just in time to beat STI College Ortigas-Cainta 83 – 78. Although the Bulacan team was the bigger team, their small soldiers were the ones that pierced the heart of the Cainta team as Glenn Bautista and Arche Salo torched the nets with 21 and 15 points respectively with power forward Mark Tamayo chipping in also 15 points and adding 10 rebounds. On the other hand, the trio of Richard Palanca, Ron Sanvictores and Joel Ramos combined for 40 points with Sanvictores and Ramos getting a double-double by adding 13 and 14 rebounds respectively.
The first quarter had the Ortigas-Cainta team starting hot while the Malolos team was playing cathch-up. Palanca opened up the scoring by sinking two three pointers enroute to a 21 – 19 lead after the first canto with Palance owning up to 9 markers and five other players scoring From a slim 16 – 13 deficit, STI College ORCA doubled own on defense and scored on an 8 – 0 run to take the upper-hand 21 – 16.
In the second quarter both teams fought to a standstill with neither team taking control of the game. STI College ORCA had Jei Ramos, Bandam Locsin and Kenneth Afuang taking care of the scoring while Salo and Bautista with some help from Ralph Bonifacio and Aram Pujante countered for STI College Malolos. The Rizal based cagers still had a slim 3 point lead at the half.
The third quarter determined the final outcome of the game as the Bulacan cagers came out with guns blazing. A balanced attack by the Malolos team combined with their crippling defense made it hard for the ORCA bigmen to penetrate. On the other hand, their offense went full swing in the second half. By the fourth quarter, Glenn Bautista who has been missing his three pointers suddenly erupted as he scattered 11 fourth quarter points and combined with Mark Tamayo’s 9 points to seal the win.
STI College Malolos shot better overall as they outshot their opponents 40% (33/82) to 37% (30/82). Malolos also had more free throws 13 – 8, rebounds 55 – 51, blocks 10 – 4 and had fewer turnovers . The Ortigas-Cainta team had more three pointers 10 – 4, Assists 19 – 14 and steals 11 – 10. In the end, the will to win was more evident with the Malolos cagers as their over-all play helped them squeak past a determined Ortigas-Cainta team.
STI COLLEGE MALOLOS (83)
Bautista 21, Salo 15, Tamayo 15, Bonifacio 9, Pujante 8, Gatchalian 7, Victoria 4, Cruz L. 2, Santos 2, Encarnacion 0
STI COLLEGE ORTIGAS-CAINTA (78)
Palanca 14, Sanvictores 14, Ramos 12, Locsin 8, Afuang 7, Estabillo 5, Vigil 5, Alcantara 4, Paredes 4, Deniega 3, PIlapil 2, Picones 0
Quarterscores: 19 – 21, 35 - 38, 55 – 52, 83 – 78