Geonbae 2001 staves off Legends 1996/1997's late uprising in Aquinas debut


By Frank Leo Aniscal - Published July 4, 2019




Geonbae 2001 banked on Adrian De Luna's steady shooting from the free throw line as they survived a tough stand by Legends 1996/1997, 71-67, to open their campaign on positive note in the Aquinas School Alumni Basketbal League (ASABL) held at Aquinas Gym in San Juan City.

Actively causing trouble against his defenders from tip-off down to the final stretch, De Luna caught his opponents with baseline moves, earning himself four crucial baskets from the foul line to break the tie at the 1:03 minute of the fourth quarter. Then, Geonbae's defense was felt by the Legends in the dying seconds as the latter was not able to execute their offense, especially their last possession in the final 14 seconds.

De Luna has shown superb first game performance as he made an impressive 76 percent field goal shooting, dropping 10 of his 13 attempts, while having 8 out of 11 shots from the free throw line. He finished with a double-double of 28 points and 18 rebounds, plus three assists, three steals, and a block to complete his A-game.

Rglenn Bangaysiso helped out with 17 markers, while Vinag and Jed Clark controlled the board with nine rebounds apiece.

Duruin and De Luna went off with hot hands in the first quarter as they piled up buckets for 2001 to have a 10-4 start. Reyes led the fightback of Legends and stole the lead in the three-minute mark, 13-10, but Bangaysiso refused to let his team down as Geonbae recovered a seven-point advantage, 20-13.

Legends scored six straight baskets to open up the second frame as Geonbae lead was chopped to just a point, 20-19. However, the leading team responded with a 12-4 rally and took a nine-point differential, 32-23. Geonbae continued their aggressiveness in offense and protected an eight-point margin at the half, 40-32.

Coming alive in the third quarter, Ajun Valenzuela made a huge impact for Legends as he anchored the team's comeback, tasting the lead in the halfway mark, 43-42. As De Luna retrieved the advantage, Ibanez made his free throws to give it back to Legends. Unfortunately, they were unable to contain Geonbae's intensity in the latter minutes, especially De Luna who initiated Geonbae's 12-3 run, 56-48.

As the game went down the wire in the final period, De Luna carried his team on his back as he delivered 11 markers including the last four important free throws that sealed Geonbae's victory.

Ibanez led 1996/1997's gallant stand with an almost double-double performance of 18 points and nine rebounds, while Reyes delivered 14 markers.



Player of the Game - Adrian De Luna

Collecting 28 points on a 10 out of 13 shooting from the field, 18 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and one block, this is how to start the season for the ever reliable Adrian De Luna.

Geonbae 2001's big man began making noise in the Aquinas Basketball as he saved the day against gritty Legends 1996/1997 with his steady free throw shooting.

"Focus lang sabi ni Coach JP Picante. Awa naman ng Diyos, nailabas ko ang 100 percent ko kahit wala pa masyado sa kondisyon," he stated.

Currently working in the front office of Concierge, De Luna is grateful to get the chance to play on the hardcourt despite his busy schedule as he hopes his passion for basketball would influence his six year-old son to gain interest for the sport.

According to De Luna, expect him to give his all every game as he eyes for another successful season for Geonbae 2001.

"Makita ko lang na masaya mga ka-batchmates kong naglalaro, makuha yung panalo, mas okay na kami doon," he concluded.