Karma Lounge PH slips past Exile 35 Up for second straight win


By Frank Leo Aniscal - Published March 3, 2020

Karma Lounge PH had Exile 35 Up play to their limits as they escaped with a 95-91 win to record their fourth win in five games of the season in the KOTC Q1 Inter-Pick Up League.

Bouncing back from an early double digit deficit, Karma Lounge PH was able to recover fast and made it a close game down to wire. Exile remained within striking distance with only 29 seconds left, 94-91, and could have get closer or tied the game with a trey after taking another possession, but Aljon Ramos anticipated PJ Fernandez's pass for a fastbreak attempt that sealed the victory for Karma Lounge PH.

Malcolm Battles built a huge wall of his own inside the shaded area as he made it hard for Exile 35Up big men to convert baskets. He posted a double-double performance of 18 points and 17 rebounds, along with two blocked shots. Ramos tallied a team-high of 19 markers, while Andrei Aspiras and Jasper Concepcion chipped in 18 and 11 markers, respectively.

Exile 35 Up had a surging offensive rally to start off with a 14-4 lead that forced Karma Lounge call for an early break. Figuring out their disadvantage inside the paint, Karma Lounge deployed their foreign big man, Battles, as they fought back in the latter half of the first quarter and trailed only by two, 20-18.

Concepcion's basket in the 8:05 mark of the second capped off Karma Lounge PH's 7-3 run to get their first lead of the game, 25-23. It became a back and forth action until Karma Lounge PH made another short offensive run to end the first half ahead by five, 44-39.

Continuing their momentum, Karma Lounge delivered a 9-2 rally to open the third as they held a 12-point margin, 53-41. Exile 35 Up cut it down to 60-58, but Karma Lounge PH closed the quarter on a high note, taking a 69-64 cushion going to the fourth.

As Karma Lounge PH took in control in the last three minutes of the game, Exile struggled to make a defensive stop as the former always found ways to answer the latter's baskets. Ramos' steal secured Karma Lounge PH's win.

Romeo Almerol delivered the game-high for Exile 35Up as he got 22 points as Noah Baltazar and Lemuel Cadorna gathered 16 and 10 markers, respectively. Mario Reyes, Luis Palaganas, Jayr Patricio, and Chris De Jesus combined for 33 markers. They fell to 1-3 after three consecutive losses.