Koror Palau – On FBL Sunday, the top two teams Western Union (15-2) and Team Spoilers (13-3) met for the second time in what could be a preview of the FBL Finals showdown, however, the game did not fit the bill.
Western Union started the game out strong going on a 5-0 run in the opening minutes but it was short lived.
Michael Bombita went on a personal 7-0 run to put the Spoilers on top 7-5, a lead that his team would never relinquished.
Spoilers’ big man Mark Pagayanan was on early foul trouble but once the Spoilers pushed the button, Western Union didn’t know what hit them and found themselves trailing 36-21 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Spoilers continued to step on the gas and broke the game wide open behind the scoring trio of Bombita, Aries Echanova and Coco Gonzales.
Team Spoilers held a 64-37 lead at half time off a last second put back by Joel Nacionales causing some fans to leave the gym sensing that the game might end up with another blowout victory by the Spoliers.
At the start of the second half, things get physical as Western Union tried to crawl back into the game.
With Bong Alamara and Emerson Patenia manning the middle and Jeff Cruz attacking the basket, the defending champions were able to cut the lead to 14 points 79-65 entering the fourth quarter.
Early in the fourth with momentum on their side, Western Union trim the Spoilers’ margin to just 10 points, but Bombita, Gonzales and Echanova joined forces once again and Michael Garcia hit a rare 3-pointer to restore the Spoilers’ lead back to 19 points proving that they were simply better and mightier than their foes.
Leading by 15 points with only 3 minutes in the ball game, the Spoilers were in complete control, until some ‘breaks’ and ‘calls’ have gone Western Union’s way.
In fourth quarter alone, two clear 24 second violations were not called against Western Union prompting some Spoiler’s fans to complain at the committee’s table about an apparent anomaly.
With 1:28 minutes remaining in the game, the lead was nine points and was extended to 11 points, 100-89 on Pagayanan’s driving layup with 40 seconds left.
On the ensuing possessions Western Union went on a fishing foul expedition just to get to the charity stripe to try and cut the lead, but the Spoilers held on and won the game easily 100-93, improving their record to 14-3 while dealing Western Union a critical loss who fell 15-3 in the standings.
With the win, the Spoilers extended their winning streak to 14 and are just a half game behind Western Union.
If both teams ended the elimination round with identical win-loss records, the Spoilers will be the number one seed because of a superior quotient.