By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
After a grand opening of the JB Amateur Basketball League (JB ABL) Battle of the 7 Districts last week, the new conference that features the best of the best 25-Under ballers from all over Iloilo City duked it out in another game day schedule over the weekend as part of the preliminaries.
From a first day full of one-sided victories, JB ABL’s last weekend schedule highlighted two intense come-from-behind wins last Sunday, September 24, 2023, held at the Modern Homes basketball gym in Jaro, Iloilo.
First that flaunted their never-say-die attitude and resiliency were the City Proper Stalwarts when they came back from a 10-point deficit in the last three minutes of the game to steal the win from La Paz Voyoagers, 67-66.
The City Proper’s dead silent crowd immediately roared in a jiffy after the Stalwarts erased La Paz’s 10-point lead anchored by a personal scoring run from Best Player of the Game Karl Alolor.
Alolor carried City Proper in the last three minutes of the game after scoring seven straight points to put the Stalwarts back in the game.
Despite La Paz taking back the lead, the Stalwarts got the last laugh after Giann Nahine forced a La Paz turnover then sank the game-winning layup with only six seconds remaining in the game.
La Paz had a chance to answer back and regain the lead but a costly back-court violation rewarded City Proper the possession and ran the clock out wisely for their first win of the conference.
After City Proper’s comeback, the Lapuz Batang Pier topped it off with an amazing 19-point come-from-behind effort to stun the Molo Spartans, 103-95.
It was one of the most courageous comebacks so far in the Battle of the Seven Districts as they became the first squad to snatch a win from a 15+-point deficit.
After a disoriented performance in the last three quarters, the Batang Pier suddenly flipped the switch and played their best basketball in the last eight minutes of the final frame.
It all started with their team defense and hustle for the ball as their team effort and will to win helped them chip away the lead.
However, it was the trio of Dave Garingo, JJ Guanzon, and Tyrome Borja who helped Lapuz regain the lead.
The trio proved to be too much for Molo and made it rain in the last five minutes of the game, sinking every three-pointer they hoisted while also taking it strong into the hoop.
With Molo still clinging on to a slim 87-85 lead, Guanzon did damage and helped Lapuz retake advantage after a foul-counted put-back.
Everything then just went Lapuz’s way as it seemed like they couldn’t miss from the three-point land and made most of their layup attempts.
For the other game, the Mandurriao Warriors bagged their first win against the Arevalo Fighters, 104-75.