Sunday, August 2, 2009
Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Sunday, August 2, 2009
APOLLO BIBAT scored the game winning free throw to give Linktech a 77-76 win over YTE last night in the 2009 Brunei Pepsi Cup at the Brunei Basketball Association (BBA) court in Batu Bersurat.
"I felt very nervous while I was taking the free throws. But as the ball left my hands I felt confident that it was going in. I felt that I had a great game today as I think we had a good performance," said Bibat, who scored the last four points for Linktech.
Linktech led by as many as 15 points but Esmond Tan's three-point play in the last 20 seconds put YTE on top at 76-75.
The ensuing play had Linktech commit a turnover just for Aries Castro to commit a flagrant foul. Lim Aik Hock was sent to the free throw line but missed the charities that could have won YTE the game. Castro then made a steal off the inbound pass while Bibat got fouled by Lim at the other end.
The first quarter was close as Linktech started out with a 1-3-1 full court pressure defence but only established a three point cushion into the second period. Linktech then stepped it up a notch to go on a 12-0 run while YTE fell behind as they were held scoreless for as long as six minutes bringing the score to 31-18.
Castro who had missed his first five field goals in the first half, caught fire in the third quarter and scored 12 points to keep his team in control.
Linktech brought a comfortable 14 point lead into the fourth quarter before YTE came storming back led by Benjamin Lim, who had 11 of his 16 points in the final period.
YTE had the momentum and managed to subdue the Linktech offence as they had changed their strategy from a 2-3 defence to a 3-2 defence as their opponents were mostly cutters compared to shooters.
Geve Leones had a quiet night as he was off from his jumpshots and only managed 16 points mostly through fastbreak points.
"I felt that my players were very lucky with little time left on the clock. It was good that Apollo (Bibat) had managed to receive the ball without losing it," said Linktech head coach Lito Porlahe, adding that his team's exhaustion allowed YTE to come back in fourth quarter. "It was a running game and my players were tired but I guess we were lucky to go away with a win."
Despite the win, Porlahe doesn't feel like favourites to lift the Pepsi Cup. "We will just have to try to see as I can see that there are other strong teams in the tournament."
YTE head coach, Tony Tan, said his team's failure to convert from the free throw line led to their downfall. "We have lost plenty of games like these. Doesn't matter if it was two or three points but if my players have made their free throws then the game would have been a lot closer and made it better."
Castro led Linktech with 22 points followed by Elvin Requintin with 19 points. YTE were led by Esmond with 21 points.
In the first game, Chop Eng Seng Keo Pinoy Resources demolished Kitchen of Jasmine 75-52.
Today's matches pit Ismakom and Sally Beauty Saloon at 4pm followed by Muara Gas against Ranoadidas Rockettes at 5.30pm in the women's division. Playing in the men's division are Bukit Ladang against Urban Chic at 7pm and White Heaven against De'Lightz Coffeeshop at 8.30pm.
The Brunei Times