Karma Lounge PH boosts playoff bid with huge win over Hoyas

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By John Mark Herrera - Published February 24, 2020

After a tough loss in their previous outing, Karma Lounge PH vented ire on Hoyas and grabbed a 97-73 victory on Saturday, at The Upper Deck Lifestyle Center. The Ruel Kondo-owned ballclub elevated their slate to 3-1, to boost their campaign as the playoffs loom in the KOTC Q1 2020 Inter Pick-Up League.

Right from the get-go, Karma Lounge PH raced to a 27-18 advantage in the first quarter, where every shot they took always found its way to go through the hoop. Thanks to a hardworking crew on defense, Hoyas found themselves trapped inside Karma's defensive prowess, and struggled to buy buckets as they trailed by double digits at halftime, 50-32.

Stuck in no man's land entering the second half, Hoyas banked on a couple of stops and hard-earned buckets midway through the third period, but for every make they get on offense, Karma Lounge PH kept pounding on defense and made thrice more poinstas they unloaded 26 third quarter points to elevate the gap to 72-42 entering the final chapter of play.

Hoyas would exhaust one last fightback in the payoff period, but Karma's lead was just to high a mountain to overcome, as they succumbed to their first defeat in the elimination round. Neil Manlavi led the blue shirts with 14 points, along with six boards and four assists. Joven Gapas finished with 12 points on 60% shooting from the field along with five rebounds, while Kim Gonzales added 10 markers and five boards of his own.

Andrei Espiras broke out of his slump and buried three triples and made five of his six attempts from the two-point area, en route to a game-high 19 points along with four rebounds and four steals. Jasper Consepcion added 18 markers with a sky-high 80% clip from the field, Michael Macabalug logged 14 points, while Bryan Cave drilled 10 points and four rebounds. Aljon Ramos rounds out the notable contributions in the victory, with his five points, seven boards, seven dimes, and a steal, as Karma Lounge PH sealed with number three.