BY RICO BILIRAN
City Hall Executives edged IBP Davao, 80 – 77, in a heart-stopping Game 2 encounter to sweep the 2014 IBP-CMO Basketball Tournament best of three championship series on Saturday at the Hall of Justice Covered Court in Ecoland.
The Executives rode on a big third period and played much resolve down the stretch to clinch the coveted title.
Christopher “Bong” Go, who was fittingly named league MVP, made all the big plays when the Executives mounted a huge fightback in the third frame after trailing by 9, 32 – 41 late in the first half.
Go banked in 8 of his total 16 baskets in the third canto that enabled the Executives to get back in the game and snatch the title clinching win from the hard-fighting IBP Davao.
Erick John Flores came to the rescue for the Executives in the grinding pay off period as Go, who averaged 39 points per game from the elimination round up to the Game 1 of the Finals, drew the focus of the IBP Davao’s defense.
With Go played the role of a facilitator, Flores sparked the scoring chores, pumping in 7 of his total 18 points in the fourth period.
IBP Davao was in control most of the first half, outclashing the Executives at all fronts behind its steady plays in both ends.
IBP Davao had come close of forcing the series into a winner-take-all but they squandered a near double digit lead in the early going of the third canto and wasted several chances in the dying seconds that saw their series end.
Adrian Paguican paced with 17 points for the IBP Davao. Chok Cadiogan had 12 as Baguio, Salcedo and Ongkiko made 11 points apiece.
Warren Cloribel came out big once again as the combo-guard put up 16 baskets, including six in the third frame.
It was Cloribel and Go who kept the Executives in the game when the IBP Davao threatened to pull away. Cloribel led the Executives in Game 1 win with 33 points.
After a see-saw battle in the opening period that saw both teams sizing each other, the IBP Davao went into scoring spree in the second period that gave them a 41 – 36 lead at the break.
The Executives were up 22 – 21 at the end of first period. (Rico Biliran)
City Hall Executives – 80 – Flores 18, Go 16, Cloribel 16, Labor 15, Casan 4, Apostol 4, Escandor 3, Poliquit 2, Reyes 2, Peloton 0.
IBP Davao – Paguican 17, Cadiogan 12, Baguio 11, Ongkiko 11, Salcedo 11, Ciudadano 8, Carpio 4, Dela Victoria 2, Ranon 1