Choppers, Stars survive past opponents in FBL

Tournament darkhorse Aloha Maid Choppers and Surangel Stars both survive a heart stopping match as they bested separate opponents, Sunday in the ongoing Filipino Basketball League (FBL) at the Palau National gym.

Aloha Maid Choppers continue their Cinderella-like story as they went on to beat a tough Ilocandia Bulls, 83-81. The game could have went into overtime had not Choppers point guard Arvin Tacder drilled in nerve racking free throws.

With less that five seconds left in the game clock and the score tied at 81-all, Tacder received a pass from teammate Lito Cruzat and went cruising all defenders as he attempted to beat the buzzer. He was then fouled in the process before time expired.

Game officials discussed the matter thoroughly and awarded two free throws to Tacder with no time left. Tacder drilled all of his free throws giving the Choppers the win. He finished the game with eight points backing Arvin Pramo and Mar Louie Lofranco who canned 24 and 21 markers, respectively.

The win gave the Choppers, sponsored by Shimbros International, its sixth straight victory and now sports a 6-1 win-loss card in the team standings.

The Ilocandia Bulls could have sent the game into over time. With time winding down in the final canto, Bulls’ Ryan Cacho split his free throws that had the game at 80-81 in favor of the Choppers. Then Bulls’ ace scorer Edward Baysa tried to win the game for them but he also split his charities that tied the game at 81-all.

Cacho and Baysa led the scoring fray for the Bulls with identical 23 baskets while teammates Joeger Supnet and Edmund Barayuga chipped in 15 and 11 as the suffered their third loss for a 3-3 record.

On the other hand, Surangel Stars held on as they managed to pass by Royal Cargo Rangers, 99-90 in over time. The game could have gone to the Rangers with the game tied at 83-all and Nico Hinoza was sent to the line for a free throw with 3.7 seconds left in the game.

However, Hinoza failed to make the shot that send players scrambling for possession with Rangers Jay Naguit getting control of the ball. But he failed to get a shot as time expired.

In overtime, Surangel Stars drubbed the Rangers as they outscored them with a 16-7 output enough to secure the win. Arnold Undecimo once again carried the scoring clutches for the Stars with 24 while rookie Leo Magcalas added 21 as they now take a 4-2 tally.

Hinoza topscored for the Rangers with 35 while Mike Guevarra and Cid Aquino chipped in 14 and 13 baskets, in that order. They settled for 4-3 in the team standings.

In other games, Liquid Skyy Dragons defeated the Jaguars, 106-97 while the Rams won over cellar dweller PNQ Crushers, 91-80.

Games will resume on February 2 with PNQ Crushers versus Surangel Stars at 11 a.m. followed by the Hanpa Cardinals-PECI Spartans tussle at 12:30 p.m. as Liquid Skyy Dragons will face the Ilocandia Bulls at 2 p.m. while FR Spoilers will test Western Union in the main game at 3:30 p.m.

Sponsors for this year’s season are Aqua Pure Water, ATT Karaoke and Bar, Blue Bay Petroleum, CTSI Palau, Hanpa Industrial Development Corporation, HBO, Kumangai Bakery, Midtown Gas Station, Mingles Tototo, MJ Trading, Palasia Hotel, Palau Pacific Resort, Palau Trading, Pinoy Express Remittance, Shimbros International, Surangel and Sons, The Taj Palau, Palau Curtain, Engr. Bobby Pineda and Western Caroline Trading Company (WCTC).

The Filipino Basketball League (FBL) is under the supervision of the Palau Basketball Federation (PBF).  By Peter Erick L. Magbanua (Island Times News)




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