By: Anthony Servinio
MANILA – Saint Francis of Assisi College put up a suffocating defense that effectively neutralized the high-scoring game of De Ocampo Memorial College, 96-85, in the featured game of the 25th Sta. Lucia Land National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) Tuesday at the Technological Institute of the Philippines. Good defense led to good offense for the Doves as the touted early meeting of pre-tournament favorites turned into a one-sided affair.
The Saint Francis defense went to work quickly and contested every De Ocampo shot resulting in a low shooting percentage for the Cobras. With their opponents struggling, that was the cue for the Doves to pull away on a 16-0 closing run with Jibb Larotin firing three triples for a 28-11 lead after one period.
Known for their very entertaining running game, the Cobras had a tough time executing as Saint Francis managed to dictate the tempo. De Ocampo team leader Dahrell Caranguian was also put in check by constant double teams thus causing his production to suffer.
Saint Francis then led by as much as 24 markers, 73-49, with Larotin joining forces with guard Lifran Madrid for 17 of their 31 third period points. With the outcome a clear conclusion, the Cobras staged a late rally behind Peter Marc Manalang and Caranguian to make minimal cuts into the Doves’ final margin.
Larotin finished with five triples to lead Saint Francis with 23 points and four rebounds. The trio of Madrid, Ryan Chu and Michael Cenita supported him with 11 markers each.
Manalang paced the Cobras with 12 of his 27 points coming in the fourth period. Caranguian and Japhet Montojo followed with 16 points each but the defense forced the usually prolific Caranguian into three of 17 shooting from the field with the balance coming from a perfect 10 for 10 shooting from the free throw line.
The NCRAA will take a break for the Christmas holidays and will resume action on January 9, 2018.
How They Scored:
SAINT FRANCIS (96) – Larotin 23, Chu 11, Cenita 11, Madrid 11, Cruz 9, Ramos 7, Lanoy 6, Taguiam 4, Tolosa 4, Cristobal 4, Manzanilla 3, Derama 3.
DE OCAMPO (85) – Manalang 27, Montojo 16, Caranguian 16, Lescano 6, Macasling 5, Fabro 5, Canelas 3, Ramos 2, Atabay 2, de la Cruz 2, Pascual 1, Gallardo 0.
Period Scores: 28-11, 49-35, 80-59, 96-85.