Citibank reclaims IFBL title with finale shocker over JPMC



By Hamsha Nocedo - Published December 13, 2019

A historic Saturday afternoon as Citibank used several runs in the second half to brought back the IFBL throne in Makati and undressed the BGC-based JPMC from being a champion, 75-68 at the land of the Kings of the Court championship battlefield--The Upper Deck Gym in Ortigas.

The four-time champion had an eight to nothing run to turn a two point deficit into a six point advantage. 46-40 at 2:10 mark in the third period. Then, another five to zero blitz to put them up by nine, 62-53 midway in the final frame.

After that, foul trouble Dillon Alulod took charge, scoring seven out of his 15 total points to stab the dagger in the heart of the champions before fouling out under a minute to go. He also made his presence on the defensive end with four steals.

Going back in the eliminations, JPMC had a late run to oust the pink shirts in their first meeting, 90-79. However, it has been a sweet revenge this time as Citibank made the blue shirts taste their own medicine as they were limited to 35 points in the second half - putting up 12 points in the third quarter.

Also, JM Adamos - who didn’t play in their first outing has been the X-Factor in the Finals as he contributed 16 points and nine rebounds, while punctuating their big third quarter with an alley-oop play.

Season and Finals MVP Mart Leonard Alindogan started the game firing and finished with an all-around offensive performance with his own 16 points, and nine boards, alongside five assists and a couple of steals.

On the other hand, JPMC had a dominant season - sweeping the elimination round with a fashion, winning by an average margin of 20.5 points, then trounced IBSS-Manila by 27, 97-27.

Despite the loss, the BGC-based bankers somehow showed resilience in this game as they bounced back after a slow first quarter start - trailing by five, 16-11 after the opening frame.

Though, they started the ensuing period with a seven to nothing run to tie the game at 18-all, then another 9-0 spurt to go up by five, 27-22 in the latter part of the second and eventually went at halftime with a four point advantage, 33-29.

After seeing Citibank unleashed their crucial rally, JPMC tried to get back, cutting the lead down to four, 57-53 with 6:54 remaining in regulation, however couldn’t stand their opponents surge in the following offensive attacks.

Mythical team member Nikko Cumigad led JPMC’s lackluster offense with 13 and six rebounds, Eymard Leonin added 11, while Pao Jadaone chipped in ten markers.