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CNMI: Visminda wins UFO crown - Dec 23, 2003

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From last year's runner-up to 2003 UFO Miller Lite Cup champion team.
Banjo Basila scored 8 of his game-high 39 points in overtime to lift Visminda-Country House to a thrilling 118-115 overtime victory against Cabalen-RP Construction in the title game last Sunday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
The 6' swingman's heroics in the extra period atoned for the team's poor play at the end of regulation, which saw Visminda allow the Transamerica-backed Cabalen team to rally from 3 points down in the dying seconds.
Putting the crucial miscues behind them, Visminda greeted overtime with a triple by regular season MVP Fernando "Pando" Muleta.
Following a free throw by Cabalen's Ronald Delos Reyes, Visminda answered with a twinner by Boy Garcia and a 3-point shot by Dado Vistal to pad their lead to 106-99 with 3:21 remaining in the ballgame.
Cabalen, however, still had one last fight left in them and a fastbreak conversion by Rico Canlas and a 3-point bomb from Paul Magcalas put them within 2 points, 106-104, with 1:44 left.
But Basila would put on a clinic from the free throw line in Visminda's next three possessions. He answered Magcalas' triple with two free throws, then following a putback by Canlas, hit another two to give Visminda a 110-106 advantage.
The lead would balloon to 6 points after Basila cashed in on two more gift shots off the fifth and final foul of 2003. Most Improved Player awardee Ryan Mendoza.
Although, Magcalas would rifle in another 3 making it 112-109, Basila would put it out of reach with an unmolested layup giving Visminda a 5-point spread with 33 seconds left in the clock.
A fastbreak layup by Bernard Montano and a free throw by Magcalas would finally end hostilities for the 2003 UFO season.
Jawn Joyner backed up Basila's outstanding performance with 25 points, while Dado Vistal and Muleta added 19 and 18 points, respectively.
Cabalen was paced by the 27 points of Delos Reyes, who finished the game on the bench hobbled by cramps on both legs. Alipio added 19 points, while Magcalas and Mendoza chipped in 17 apiece.
It was another heartbreaking loss for Cabalen, which came back from a 97-94 deficit with 25 second left and even managed to lead by a point, 98-97, following four free throws off fouled 3-point attempts by Delos Reyes and Magcalas.
But in the ensuing play, Vistal would hit one of two attempts from the line to send the ballgame into overtime at 98-all.
It was a roller coaster ballgame from the get-go with Visminda thundering from the gates and erecting a 28-15 lead after the first quarter.
But Cabalen would counter with better shooting and improved defense in the second to trim Visminda's advantage to 42-39 at the half.
Delos Reyes, Mendoza and veteran gunslinger Alex Ocampo would then lead a charge in the third that gave Cabalen the driver's seat, 69-66, going into the fourth and final quarter.
Cabalen would hang on to the lead until 2:16 left in regulation when two free throws by Joyner put Visminda ahead, 91-90, which set the stage for the exciting ending.
Earlier, deposed three-time champion SIP-Verizon took home the third place trophy after beating MIFICPA-Power, 104-91. Junar Guiab and Gary Rapanut led SIP with 21 and 20 points, respectively. Veteran Ed Palma was MIFICPA's topscorer with 22 markers.
In the 3-point shootout, Bayani-Tropical Instant Press' Joey Villegas emerged victorious after beating out 10 other rainbow specialists.

SIP-Verizon 104 - Guiab 21, Rapanut 20, Garcia 18, Factor 17, Flores 14, Espinosa 10, Alegre 4.
MIFICPA-Powers 91 - Palma 22, Dayrit 17, Domingo 17, Gamboa 15, Garcia 14, Tabora 5.

Scoring by quarters: 28-26, 51-46, 71-71, 104-91.

Visminda-Country House 118 - Basila 39, Joyner 25, Vistal 19, Muleta 18, Cosino 9, Montano 6.
Cabalen-RP Construction 115 - Delos Reyes 27, Alipio 19, Magcalas 17, Mendoza 17, Ocampo 14, Arnedo 12, Canlas<  

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