📅20 February 2017
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By Jay Leon Guerrero

The VSAB Roadrunners defended their home court Monday night and improved to 3-1 in the GDOE Middle School Boys Basketball league with an impressive 61-34 victory over the Luis P. Untalan Wildcats. Both teams entered the contest with identical 2-1 records and the matchup looked to be a close contest, but the Roadrunners took care of business early to keep their regular season championship hopes alive.

The Roadrunners showed full court pressure from the opening tip and capitalized on early baskets by guards Jeremiah Camacho and Francis Borja to take an early 6-0 advantage. Untalan’s Eian Naputi found an opening against the Roadrunner 2-3 defense and swooshed home a three-pointer to cut the deficit in half.

The Roadrunners lived up to their name and pushed the pace, attacking the basket to quickly go ahead by 10 points in the first quarter. Roadrunner Ian Asuncion had a huge second quarter and led the offense for the home team, guiding his team to a 34-14 advantage by the break. Asuncion scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half as the Roadrunners led by 20 at the break.

The Wildcats came out of the locker room determined to make it a ballgame. Naputi scored a quick basket to open the second half. Teammate John Moses followed up with a short jumper in the paint to start a rally. Wildcat point guard Patrick Talosig hit a three-pointer after a Roadrunner basket to get the Wildcat fans cheering.

The Roadrunners missed easy baskets in the third quarter but their 5’11 center Rylen Cajigal came to the rescue. Cajigal ended hopes of a Wildcat comeback, scoring eight straight points to put the Roadrunners ahead for good.

Cajigal had his way in the paint, scoring 10 of his 13 points in the third quarter. Cajigal said that the game plan was to push the tempo early to establish the early lead.

Wendy’s Players of the Game Ian Asuncion & Rylen Cajigil.

“Coach (Erwin Villa) told us to get the rebound and find the guards for fast break lay-ups,” said Cajigal. The Roadrunners executed Villa’s game plan to defend their home court. Roadrunner point guard Amram Yobei converted the old-fashioned three point play with the “and 1” transition basket to add insurance points in the final period.

Despite the loss, the Wildcats’ Darren Cepeda had a good game and managed to score nine points to lead Untalan. Naputi chipped in eight points, Xavier Mesa had six points for the Wildcats who drop to 2-2 for the season. The Wildcats will look to go back above the .500 mark as they host Astumbo Middle School on Wednesday.

Asuncion also scored 13 points for the Roadrunners who improve to 3-1. The Roadrunners suffered their only loss to the Jose Rios Voyagers earlier in the season, they will travel down south on Wednesday to play Oceanview for their next game.

After losing to the Voyagers, Asuncion said that his team did a better job against pressure defense. They learned from their loss and did a better job against the Wildcats.

“Jose Rios played a great game, they have really good defenders,” said Asuncion. “We learned from that game, we are getting better.”


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