Dasmariñas Ballers Club end NBL championship, 0-2, versus Parañaque Aces
The Dasmariñas Ballers Club sustained their second straight loss in the best-of-three finals series of the 2018 National Basketball League (NBL) Philippines with a score of 104-112 as the Parañaque Aces hacked out a hard-fought victory in their nail-biting clash yesterday, December 8, at Ugnayang La Salle (ULS) to become the historic first-ever NBL Champions.
“Deserve nilang manalo. Kitang–kita naman, two overtimes, panalo na kami pero hindi pa rin sila sumuko. Although nice season pa rin. Nobody expected us to be here, at saka magandang laban pa rin ‘yung kinalabasan,” Dasmariñas Ballers Club head coach Azlie Guro remarked on the triumph of the opposing team.
Patriot cager John Cantimbuhan blazed with 27 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, and four steals as he commandeered the Ballers Club once again in their neck-and-neck championship affair yesterday. Patriot cager Jastine Amponin delivered eight points and one rebound.
Despite the big loss, crowd favorite Cantimbuhan took home the prestige of being one of the tournament’s Mythical Five and the first NBL season Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
John Rabe led the Ballers’ offense in the first canto with six points and three offensive rebounds with Jeoffrey Acain’s free-throw shot ending the quarter with a one-point lead, 14-13, for the Ballers.
The match continued to intensify as the game moved to the second quarter wherein the Parañaque Aces’ Albert Almaden churned out seven points to aid put the first half of the game in their favor, 30-33.
The Aces were still in control of the third quarter, igniting a nine-point surge to make the score 41-48 and allowing breathing space. The Ballers fought back with their own nine-point rally with less than two minutes on the shot clock to reduce their deficit to four points as they closed the quarter with a score of 54-58.
The tables turned in the fourth quarter as the momentum shifted back to the Ballers as they seized the lead back, 71-68. They held their lead afterwards, keeping the Aces at bay hoping to get their hands on the NBL championship trophy, but a foul on Aces’ Almaden allowed him to hit two crucial free throw shots that pushed the bout into overtime, tying the score, 84-84, keeping the Aces alive in the game.
John Rabe stepped up once again as he led the Baller’s offense in the gritty overtime with five points. But a hapless turnover by the Ballers allowed Jess Quilatan of the Aces to fire a long three-pointer that tie the game once again, 97-97, sending the visiting Parañaque crowd into frenzy and forcing a second overtime.
The second overtime was commandeered by the Aces starting with Salvador Galit’s jump shot and followed by a game-ending 10-point spurt to finalize the championship showdown with a final score of 104-112.
Pruvil Bermudez was named the Finals game MVP as he paced the Parañaque Aces with 19 points and four assists. Albert Almaden erupted with a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds while Salvador Galit unleashed his rage with 19 points and nine rebounds for the Aces.
Cantimbuhan: 27, Gabion: 19, Caparida: 15, Rabe: 13, Amponin: 8, Gabriana: 6, Castro: 4, Sornet: 4, Tumamao: 3, Delos Santos: 2, Villadarez: 2, Acain: 1, Estanislao: 0, Paisal: 0, Pingol: 0, Salvador: 0
Bermudes: 19, Galit: 19, Quilatan: 19, Almaden: 17, Jasmin: 9, Sunga: 8, Gusi: 6, Olegario: 5, Ollano: 3, Arce: 2, Custodio: 2, Reyes: 2, Maldinger: 1, Pimentel: 0, Pineda: 0, Sumabat: 0