Winter weather may have been enough to cancel the first two games Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to cool off Waray’s Jovic Macatimpag who hit seven three-pointers and totaled 35 points as he led his squad to an upset 96-89 victory over the Pelicans.
The win came in Game 2 of the Neepawa Basketball League (NBL) Championship Finals and evened the best-of-three series at 1-1. The Pelicans, who have won the NBL all three years since its inception, won Game 1 by a convincing 87-60 score.
This past Sunday’s game featured a much closer match, with the two teams trading leads throughout and staying close until the final buzzer. The Pelicans led 48-45 at the half, but Waray caught up and pulled ahead for good late in the fourth quarter.
It was an exciting game, and it was also a physical one. The teams combined for a league record 55 fouls, leading to the Pelicans having three players foul out.
Game 3 of the series will be played either this Saturday, or the following one, depending upon gym availability.
Samson Emralino led Pelicans scorers with 25 points, big man Reynante Cabacungan added 22 while Ace Medina put away 16.
Macatimpag led all Waray scorers, while Joselito Young scored 25 points and Jun Flores totaled 12.
The NBL’s D-League may playfully stand for “Damaged League”, but the teams facing off in the first game of the D-League Finals sure didn’t fit that profile.
In Game 1 of the series, Team White faced off against Team Blue and kept the back-and-forth pace of the game at a high level.
The two squads exchanged baskets and kept the score close until the dying minutes where Team White pulled away for a 63-53 win. The teams were deadlocked at 27-27 coming out of the halftime break.
Team White’s youngster Jhonnel Penano led all scorers with 22 points while teammates Ronald Santos, 17 points, and Nelson Acuran, 10 points, all reached double-digit figures.
Team Blue was led by Rex Toledo’s 18-point outing, with Junel Yusuico adding 16 points and Allan San Pedro scoring 12 points.
The second game of the D-League Finals series will be played the same day as the Waray-Pelicans match.