CEBU City, Philippines – The Cebu Casino Ethyl Alcohol Sharks waylaid the unsuspecting Rizal Crusaders Xentro Mall with a heartbreaking 89-59 win in the ongoing Lakan Season of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City.
Rhaffy Octobre was unstoppable all game long as he ignited the onslaught by scoring 14 of his game-high 24 points in the opening quarter.
The host team was helpless against the pressure defense of the Shark which posted an early 30-12 lead in the opening quarter despite playing without another big man William McAlloney was rested by coach coach Noynoy Falcasantos.
Averaging only 11.3 points per game in the tournament, the former UV Green Lancer center delivered displayed his best game as he leads the torrid first quarter attack and the Sharks did not look back from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer.
Rizal showed a little resistance as they narrowed down the lead to 10-points nearing the end of the first half, but the mental lapse of the Cebuano squad was only momentary as they went strong in the final minutes of the second period to build a 41-26 lead at the halftime break.
After resting for a full quarter, Octobre then leads the final blows as he scored 10 more points in the final frame as the Sharks picked its 8th victory in 18 games while Rizal dropped to 3-14.
The victory was also fourth for Falcantos while suffering three losses since assuming the head coaching job from Norberto “Titing” Manalili early in October.
The win was also a redemption of a sort for the Sharks as they avenged an 80-57 loss to the Crusaders last year.
Aside from an impressive 11-of-15 shooting clip, Octobre also had 13 rebounds and two assists in just 22:46 of action.
Three players other players, Fletcher Galvez, John Reel Saycon and Nichole Ubalde scored nine points each for Cebu while Mark Benitez top scored for Rizal with 13 points and Jomari Lacastesantos contributed with 12 for the Jayvee Gayoso mentored Crusaders. RCM
Cebu (89) – Octobre 24, Galvez 9, Saycon 9, Ubalde 9, Viloria 8, Lao 7, Cabahug 5, Cenita 5, Lee-Yu 4, Coronel 4, Villafranca 3, Cortes 2. Rizal (59) – Benitez 13, Lacastesantos 12, Bacay 8, Raflores 8, Casajeros 6, Regalado 5, Vidal 4, Gregorio 3. Quarterscores: 30-12; 41-26; 66-41; 89-59.