SEMBAWANG, SINGAPORE – The FilTA Basketball 2012 season opened successfully with the KHR Green Hornets blowing by the ALP Blue Ballers last Saturday, 70-56. The Blue Ballers had much of the first half under control, even pushing a lead as large as 10 points right before halftime — but the Green Hornets raised the tempo by the start of the 3rd quarter with a hellacious Run-And-Gun offense and a stingy trap defense. By the 2nd half of the game, the Green Hornets had the Blue Ballers figured out en-route to a 30 point 4th quarter and the subsequent blowout.
The Green Hornets eased into a half court trap for most of the final two quarters, and the Blue Ballers’ lack of a dedicated ball handler proved to be their waterloo as they had many difficulties bringing the ball up the court. The ALP guards were often pressured into committing unforced turnovers in rapid succession, which led to many easy baskets by both Khris Ian Gellidon 15 pts., and James Siddayao 17 pts., and ran circles around ALP’s confused backcourt.
KHR also got a boost of energy from Yancy Salazar who was all over the floor in a blaze, forcing mistakes upon the opposition as he disrupted passing lanes and altered shots at the rim. Salazar finished the game with 8 points and was instrumental in the Green Hornets’ victory.
There was very little the Blue Ballers could do without solving their transition defense and offensive woes. Behind Alphee Saspa’s 23 points, ALP was able to build an early lead but was unable to sustain it. Some poor decisions down the stretch and a perceived lack of energy in the championship rounds caused them to dig an insurmountable hole that was too large to climb out of. Saspa was unstoppable as always, but he certainly needed help on both the offensive and defensive ends.
Expect the ALP Blue Ballers to have figured out their weaknesses by Game 2, which will be on Saturday, August 25.
All in all, it was a great effort by the KHR Green Hornets, who tally one in the win column with a spirited performance in their season opener. Even without the services of All-Star center Mark Calilong (DNP), they were able to dominate their opponent with much ease.
ALP – Noel Borcena, 3 pts. went down with an ankle injury after stepping on someone’s foot early in the 2nd half. He was taken out of game and did not return. MRI results are negative, and he is expected to make a full recovery by the next game. Kristoff Due, 10 pts. and Carlos Cinco, 8pts. posted sub-par numbers and need to assist Saspa in the scoring department. Other scorers: Jon Chua, 7 pts. BoiBoi Garcia, 3 pts. Elbert Dela Cruz, 2 pts.
KHR – Joannes Sunir, 11 pts. and Henri Panopio, 10 pts. are the other two players in double figures. Albert Unciano, 3 pts., Conde Beltran, 2 pts., and Voltaire Torcuator, 4 pts. helped out as well.