By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The CPU Golden Lions extended its undefeated streak to two wins while the Western Institute of Technology (WIT) bounced back in the ongoing 2022 JB Amateur Basketball League (JB ABL) Season III “School Wars” college varsity category.
Fresh off a momentum-boosting win against WIT during their opening game, the Golden Lions continued their mastery and outdueled the University of San Agustin Golden Eagles, 62-55.
It was a wire-to-wire victory for head coach Mathew Jan Montalvo and his wards as the Golden Lions immediately capitalized on their post advantage by feeding the ever-dominant Jesse Sullano.
CPU ran their first several plays off Sullano in the post and paid off the trust coach Montalvo gave him to help his team pile up the points in the first two quarters.
However, the Golden Eagles were quick to respond courtesy of mini offensive spurts from the duo of Giann Nahine and Franc Tono.
Erjohn Hermogino also joined the San Agustin offensive party and was a huge boost during their huge third-quarter run that kept themselves within striking distance.
Whenever CPU needed a bucket, star guard Kevin Barranco answered the call and drilled several crucial three-pointers in the final frame of the duel that pushed its lead to nine points with three minutes remaining in the game.
San Agustin countered after a three-pointer from Arar Deaño but the Golden Lions were able to execute their sets and maintain composure to clinch their second win of the tournament.
Meanwhile, in the second game, the 2019 PRISAA champions got the better of the Iloilo Doctor’s College (IDC) Medics in a close encounter, 75-71.
It was all WIT in the first three quarters after establishing a double-digit lead but IDC’s resiliency was on full display in the last quarter of the game.
Tyrome Borja and Rhemark Escarilla led Medics’s offensive rally that trimmed the deficit to just three points in the last 1:30 of the game.
With the game on the line, WIT was able to convert two well-drawn plays designed by head coach John Guanco that sealed the deal for their first win in the main category of the JB ABL Season III.
In the other scheduled games, the St. Robert’s high school varsity team took down Tiong San, 74-66, while San Agustin demolished Santa Clarita, 79-57, in the same category.
The last match featured the college alumni division clash between WIT and the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU) Dolphins.
Despite the early lead established by JBLFMU, the stacked WIT lineup roared back to earn the win, 69-65, led by the heroics of Cris Loyola who also garnered Best Player of the Game honors.