Choppers beat Rangers as Friendsters advance to Master’s League Finals

Team Choppers duplicated their first round feat as they went on to beat a tough MJ Rangers while 9-Ball Friendsters took the first finals seat after whipping a sloppy Ocean View/PCGM, Sunday in the 2012 season of the Filipino Basketball League at the Palau National gym.

Team Choppers seemed to have the antidote as they bested a much taller MJ Rangers, 78-75 and duplicated their first round feat in April 22 as they also bested the latter via 84-83 in overtime.

After leading 61-51, the Choppers squandered their lead as the Rangers forced them into turnovers and found themselves logging behind, 71-69 going into the last five minutes of the game. Calling for time, Choppers head coach Jun Apostolero reminded his boys to stay focus on the game and work as a team.

Responding to the call of their mentor, the Choppers came back as Nelson Dupalco and Julivic Munion provided fire power from beyond the arc while Erwin Gonzalgo muscled his way inside the paint. Their performance earned the Choppers a 8-0 run as they got back the lead with a 77-71 breather with less than two minutes remaining in the game.

The Rangers tried to come back but missed several offensive put backs as they only managed to get in closer at 78-75 with barely nine seconds left in the game. Mike Guevarra tried to tie the game as he went up for a desperate triple but was futile.

Gonzalgo paced the Choppers with 26 points as teammates Dupalco and Bon-Bon Pramo chipped in 16 and 15 baskets, respectively as they now sport a 7-4 win-loss record in the team standings. Nico Hinoza, who fouled out early in the fourth canto, managed to top score for the Rangers with 14 points as they are now 5-5.

In other games, FR Spoilers drubbed Rams/Guardians, 122-72 and Surangel and Sons dumped Jaguars, 100-64.

Games will resume on July 29 with Choppers versus Ilocandia Bulls at 12:30 p.m. followed by the Jaguars-Rams/Guardians match at 2 p.m. while Western Union meets MJ Rangers in the main game at 3:30 p.m.

On the other hand, 9-Ball Friendsters secured the first finals seat in the Master’s League after dethroning Ocean View/PCGM, 77-68. Team 9-Ball Friendsters showed good ball movement and got most of their players involved in the scoring department.

After taking a 20-13 lead in the first quarter, 9-Ball Friendsters broke the game wide open in the second as they pounded Ocean View/PCGM with a 22-7 output to establish their biggest lead of the game at 42-20.

From there, they never looked back as they kept their composure to win the game, sealing the series at 2-0, and move on to the championship round. Veyeran skipper Nelson Baysa led the scoring chores for 9-Ball Friendsters with 17 points as Jojo Areval topscored for Ocean View/PCGM with 24 on a losing cause.

With the win, 9-Ball Friendsters await the winner of the FR Spoilers-D’Originals semis series. The game is at 1-0 in favor of D’Originals and they will try to wrap up the series on July 29 as they collide anew at 11 a.m.  By Peter Erick L. Magbanua (Island Times News)


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