Waxing hot ODM squad notches JB ABL Elite II title

Paul Poral pounds his way inside against 3 young crocs (Leobert Julian A. de la Peña)

By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Paint dominance and outside shooting, the ODM Sportswear squad displayed both as they capitalized against the high-octane OJNA/IYB Mobile Bar Crocodiles, 89-77, in the Elite II championship match.

The Powerhouse gym, Gaisano Capital, Iloilo, was filled with the loudest ooh’s and aah’s as the run-and-gun system of the young crocs gave them the early lead in the opening frame.

Jayjay Guanzon led the Crocodiles’ attack as he ballooned their lead to 8, 28-20, with his second-chance points and corner threes.

As the young crocs played their consistent style of play, the veteran ODM squad adjusted, and they knew they had the advantage inside with a dominant Paul Poral and Istoy Lencioco.

During the second quarter, ODM began to get their groove as they fed Poral and Lencioco at will, fishing for fouls and converting tough shots.

ODM shooters then began to heat up as Poral and Lencioco also showed they were willing passers whenever they were doubled, kicking out extra passes to a trigger-ready Inno Miclat and Rush Rubin.

The whole second half then began to be a one-sided affair as the young OJNA squad couldn’t find an answer to stop Poral and Lencioco underneath.

Also, a factor that boosted ODM to score easy shots in the paint was because of veteran point guard Matthew Montalvo, who seemed to know the sweet spots of his big-men, feeding them in the open spots and passing the ball immediately as soon as they established position in the block.

Poral was awarded as the best player of the game, tallying 19 big points, and 8 boards. Special mentions are Lencioco with 26 points, and Miclat with 21.

With the win, the Elite II champions will face the Elite I champions, the Uniwheels Cars Display, in a crossover match today, 6:45 PM, at the Powerhouse gym, Gaisano Capital, Iloilo.