Team Alvin’s draws first blood in ICBC grand finals

Ken Deniega continued his consistent offensive game to lift team AFC against Big Roys. (Peter Oñate)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Team Alvin’s Fitness Center (AFC) immediately buckled down to work and stunned the Big Roys by Robejes Wonders, 80-66, during Game 1 of the 2022 Iloilo City Basketball Club (ICBC) second conference grand finals.

It was also a huge bounce-back game from Team AFC after dropping its first encounter against Big Roys during the regular season, 74-68.

Team Big Roys looked sharp in the early minutes of the matchup after establishing a 9-2 lead but a quick offensive counter from the AFC squad kept them within striking distance.

The momentum then began to swing the AFC side after the trio of Ken Deniega, Gerrod Villaruz, and Koi Blanco made it rain from downtown that spearheaded an insane 17-4 run.

Aside from their defensive lapses guarding the three-point area, team Big Roys found themselves in deep trouble after their offense went cold and struggled to buy a basket to halt team AFC’s surge.

Team AFC continued their shooting clinic at the start of the third frame and got much-needed baskets from Dr. Jason Ong who dominated the paint area.

With Big Roys still finding their offensive rhythm, team AFC poured in the attack to close another quarter with a double-digit lead.

Big Roys responded and started to sink their open shots in the perimeter but team AFC’s deadly sniper Joshua Mana-ay came right back with back-to-back baskets from the three-point line.

It was all team AFC in the closing quarter as their tremendous reads on the defensive end forced several Big Roys turnovers that were converted to easy breakaway layups.

Deniega was named as Motech Player of the Game with 20 big points and will have the chance to close the series with another masterful performance in Game 2.