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Nationals clinch Bud Cup championship - Jun 13, 2006


POSTED BY:
GREG
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THE NMI Men’s Nationals took the 2006 Budweiser Cup BANMI Island-wide Men’s Basketball League crown after walloping Microl-Toyota/Bud Ice in the finals, 107-95, last Sunday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gym.
The Nationals stepped on the gas pedal in the second half scoring on fastbreak plays on numerous occasions to win this year’s Bud Cup. Defense also did the trick for the Nationals, as they pressured Microl from the backcourt all the way to the frontcourt forcing the runnerup team to commit turnovers and take hurried shots.
"The instructions in the second half were to go into overdrive and pick Microl’s pockets by pushing the ball quickly and looking for fastbreak opportunities. If not, ensure we have a good open look for the basket. We also raised our defensive intensity," Nationals coach Rufino Aguon said.
The Nationals were only leading by seven at halftime, 44-37, when they started to harass Microl’s receivers in the third quarter and go after the ball at all costs helping the team to lead by as much as 16, 68-52 in that period.
Microl were rattled with the Nationals pressured defense giving the latter a chance to steal the ball numerous times and score on fastbreaks.
Dan Barcinas and Mark Wallace converted Microl’s turnovers into points. Barcinas scored seven straight markers at one point in the third period and had 11 points in that canto, while Wallace added six.
John Sablan also had six points in the third period, all from the 3-point area. His second triple in the last minute of the third canto foiled Microl’s rally as the San Jose-based team was able to move within 10, 70-60, in the closing minutes of that quarter.
The third period ended with the Nationals leading by 13, 75-62.
The Nationals sustained their pressured defense in the fourth period and in the process entered the penalty mark early with about seven minutes left in the final canto. The Nationals committed 16 fouls in the fourth period alone.
Microl, instead of setting up their plays to give big men Dalewin Cortez, Ric Dalangin and Ronald Delos Reyes a chance for easy shots in the paint and taking advantage of the penalty situation, chose to go with the flow matching the Nationals fast-paced game.
Microl’s gamble failed as the much younger, much fitter and much faster Nationals hung on to their lead in the fourth quarter.
Microl launched repeated comeback bids, but every time it moved closer to the Nationals, the latter always found ways to end the former’s rally.
Kevin Cequena made one last push for Microl connecting on a triple and cutting the Nationals lead to seven, 95-102, with 1:15 left in the game.
But the Nationals quickly answered with James Villacrusis dropping off a pass to Jeremy Sablan, who nailed an undergoal stab giving the team a 104-95 lead, with 55.8 seconds left on the clock.
Microl missed a couple of 3-pointers in the ensuing plays sealing the doom of the team.
All the 12 players that Rufino fielded in the game scored with five of them drilling double figures proving that the Nationals are playing well as a unit.
Freddie Pelisamen scored 25 points, while Wallace and Jeremy Sablan added 14 and 12 markers, respectively. Barcinas and John Sablan chipped in 11 points apiece.
Jun Estolas topscored for Microl with 24 points, while Ric Dalangin contributed 21. Cequena added 18 points, while Ruel Aranda had 12 points, but all of these came in the first quarter.

Scores:
Nationals - Microl 107-95(19-14, 44-37, 75-62, 107-95) (Pelisamen 25, Wallace 14, Je. Sablan 12, Jo. Sablan 11, Barcinas 11, Winkfield 7, Villacrusis 5, Ada 4, Palacios 4, Fitial 2, Lee 2 - Estolas 24, Dalangin 21, Cequena 18, Aranda 12m Cortez 8, Factor 4, Delos Reyes 4, De Dios 2)  



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