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Tuba gives Bokod big scare, Trinidad 1 gives Trinidad 2 a spunking

TWIN EFFORT. The efforts of Buenaventura brothers, John Rick, left, and June Rey, saw Bokod make it two for two after edging Tuba last September 21. John Rick won the best player award during the opening day, while the older June Rey was the best last Thursday. PML

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Early favorite Bokod survived a pesky Tuba when it rallied from a 13 point deficit to edge the latter 89-87 Thursday at the La Trinidad Municipal Gym in the Cong. Eric Go Yap Congressional Cup.

This after La Trinidad 1 woke from a first quarter stupor and beat La Trinidad 2 104-90  in the first game of a double header for heavyweights. With the victory, La Trinidad 1 improved to 3-0 and assume sole leadership of the five day old league.

Tuba caught Bokod flatfooted and used speed and outside shooting to turn a 15-23 deficit to a 48-39 halftime lead thanks to the 12 point heave of Cyril de Vera who was limited to just a marker in the first quarter.

Joining forces with Amiel Gacula in the third quarter, the duo churned in 12 of the team’s 19 point effort as the much smaller Tuba enjoyed a 10 point lead, 67-57, going to the final canto.

After former University of Baguio Cardinal Ian Bernal sank a trey to give Tuba its biggest lead of 13, 70-57, Bokod seemingly had enough and relied on its veterans to mount a 7-0 run that saw them cut the lead to six, 72-66.

But two successive Bokod errors which Tuba converted gave them another double digit lead, 76-66.

But former Cordillera Career Development College Rey Gabino took charge aa he completed a three point play and later give Bokod an 82-80 lead with a lay-up. But Bernal connected from deep to give Tuba back the lead, 83-82.

However, Gacula scored to give Tuba an 83-80 but was quickly tied by Darwin Fernandez with a timely trey.

John Cedric put Tuba ahead anew, 87-85, but Fernandez tied it and 11 seconds left. Fernandez then pressed Gacula, who was almost perfect the whole night, until a contested backing violation when the ball bounced back from his foot to give Bokod possession and 5.11 seconds left.

A quick foul on John Rick Buenaventura saw the former University of the Cordilleras guard sink both charities for an 89-87 lead and 2.34 seconds left.

Gabino gave a quick foul with more than a second left and after the inbound, Gacula made the heave which bounced off the ring to give Bokod the heard earned victory.

Fernandez led Bokod with 19 points,  while the Buenaventura, the younger, made 16 and the two big men, June Rey Buenaventura and Alimba scored a double double performance, 13 points and 11 rebounds and 11-10, respectively. Gabino was the fifth man to score in double digit as he made 13 points.

De Vera led Tuba with 25 points, while Raxl Apilado, Bernal, Gacula and Pugong added 16, 15, 14 and 12 points, in that order, while the last cleared 12 boards. Tuba fell to 1-1 (win-loss) card after an opening 64-41 victory over Buguias last Sunday.

Tuba actually connected 12 from deep against the measly two of Bokod.

“We were really got surprised by Tuba. We were just lucky to win this,” said Bokod team captain Jovencio Caleno, who pulled out the Buenaventura brothers with less than a minute left after Gacula gave Tuba back the lead for a last, even desperate, push.

“I am really out of shape,” admitted the older and bigger Buenaventura.

Down seven points in most of the first half, Trinidad 1 also banked on its veterans to eke the hard earned victory, while dealing its younger counterparts its first defeat which debuted with a 97-62 victory over Kapangan last Sunday.

La Trinidad 1 paces the league with a 3-0 card, while Bokod joined Itogon at second spot with 2-0 slates.

Mankayan and Atok are at one win and no loss yet, followed by La Trinidad and Tuba at 1-1, while Bakun, Kapangan, Kabayan, Tublay and Buguias carry a 0-1 card. Kibungan and Sablan are dead last with identical 0-2 cards.

Games this Saturday will be in Sablan with Tuba and La Trinidad 2 both hoping to bounce back as they face Kapangan and Mankayan, respectively. Host Sablan hopes to win for the first time at home court against a dangerous Kabayan led by Kyle Aldich Naisod, who made 10 from deep for the league high score of 32. La Trinidad 1 seeks a fourth win against Bakun and Jeffrey Abansi and Kibungan seeks its first win against the mayor Armando Lauro coached. Pigeon Lobien

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