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Filbasket: Palma lifts Nueva Ecija to Summer Championship


Despite representing a new town, Jerson Cabiltes and his men showed that they are still the sheriffs of Filbasket.

Behind the likes of Renz Palma, Michael Juico, and Will McAloney, Nueva Ecija escaped San Juan with a 90-88 overtime win in the winner-take-all tilt of the 2022 Filbasket Summer Championship, Sunday at the Muntinlupa Sports Center.

“I’m just so proud of my boys for never giving up,” said Nueva Ecija coach Jerson Cabiltes, who steered AICC Manila to the inaugural championship of the upstart league.

“After the second game loss di ako makatulog, was just counting the hours to this moment,” continued Cabiltes as they lost Game Two last Friday, 65-71.

Tied at 87-all in overtime, Palma cleaned up a Juico miss to put the Capitals ahead.

A split on the stripe by Justin Gutang, later on, cut the lead down to one but Juico would also do so on the other end.

With much time still left on the clock, Orlan Wamar’s floater badly missed while Palma secured the rebound.

Juico, who was adjudged as the Finals MVP, led Nueva Ecija with 17 points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block. Palma, meanwhile, added 12 big points.

“Nanalo kami siguro dahil sa experience namin. Nabuhay ang pagka-dragon ng mga player namin,” said Juico.

Michael Mabulac also had a big game with 16 points and 13 rebounds while McAloney, who forced overtime with a clutch bucket with 36.3 seconds left in regulation, got 12 points and five rebounds. Hesed Gabo also tallied 10 points, four assists, and four rebounds.

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“Gusto namin suklian lahat ng binigay sa amin ng Cuevas family,” said Mabulac. “Nahiya kami kay (team owner) ma’am Rianne Cuevas noong natalo kami noong isang araw, birthday pa naman niya, pero ngayon at least special occasion kase Mother’s Day.”

Nueva Ecija also bagged P1,000,000 for their win.

Tournament MVP Gutang provided an all-around line for the Knights with 16 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and an assist while CJ Isit also got 16 points to go along with seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks, and two steals.

Jhonard Clarito and Judel Fuentes also pumped 14 points each.

The Scores:

Nueva Ecija 90 — Juico 17, Mabulac 16, Palma 12, McAloney 12, Gabo 10, Uyloan 9, Collado 8, Balucanag 3, Villarias 3, Bitoon 0, Raymundo 0, Taganas 0, Manalang 0.

San Juan 88 — Gutang 16, Isit 16, Clarito 14, Fuentes 14, Ular 8, Wamar 7, Peralta 5, Bunag 4, Sarangay 2, Acosta 2, Ubalde 0.

Quarterscores: 17-20, 29,39, 57-61, 79-79, 90-88.

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