Hoops Project survives late rally by Dumlao, remains unbeaten


by Hamsha Nocedo, published June 27, 2019

With some timely baskets down the stretch and a couple of huge defensive stops, Hoops Project survived a fourth quarter fightback by Dumlao to remain unbeaten in three games in the Kings of the Court STR8 | Inter Pick-up Division, 73-70, Sunday at Dumlao Gym in Mandaluyong.

John Yeates, Rap Medina, and AJ Cadelina collectively contributed some cold-blooded shots in the payoff period to cool off Dumlao. Aided by Evan Brondial’s defense, Hoops Project avoided a potential meltdown until the buzzer sounded.

Yeates started the final quarter with post hook that pushed Hoops Project to their biggest margin at 27, 63-36, and finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds, and two steals. He was the most consistent player on the floor all through out the ball game, making him the player of the game.

When Dumlao knocked on the door by trimming the lead to six at 3:01 remaining in the fourth, Medina hits two basket at the stripes that almost shut down their opponent’s rally.

He also logged in 11 points, and gathered five rebounds, while Cadelina chipped in 10 points, including a long two to stop their bleeding.

Despite scoring just four points, Brondial grabbed 11 boards, plus some crucial defensive rebound to seal the deal for Hoops Project.

After Hoops Project led as much as 25 entering the fourth quarter, everyone in the gym is just waiting for the final score - though Dumlao-Thursday had different plans.

Issei Sugiyama and JC Ibañez started their gallant 24-6 run by hitting back-to-back lay-ups off a steal to cut the deficit by 9 at 3:35 mark. Then a minute later, they unleashed an 11-2 rally, capped by Sugiyama’s triple with 12 seconds remaining, turning a 70-60 advantage into 72-70.

Hoops project left the door open after Medina split his charities, however they managed to have a big sigh of relief in the end as Sugiyama shorthanded a game tying three, then Brondial corralled the board. 

Sugiyama logged in 21 points, alongside with five steals, while Ibañez, came off the bench gathered six. Jojo Sumndad added 17 and eight, Kenneth Sakai chipped in 12.

It was all Hoops Project from the get-go, Yeates brought the battle underneath as he scored with an array of post moves. They ended the opening period up by ten, 22-12.

In the second quarter, the winning team continued dominating inside, however Dumlao move the ball well this canto and cut the lead to eight, entering the second half, 36-28.

Hoops Project started the third with a blistering 14-0 run, and the lead ballooned to 22, after Yeates jumper from the elbow, then ended the canto in a very strong note up by 25, 61-36.



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