Novesys weathers late Smart rally to keep slate unblemished



by Jonas Egan Reyes, published May 30, 2019

Surviving a fourth quarter scare, Novesys escaped with a 69-61 win over Smart in Week 4 of the TBL League of 40s, held last May 26 at The Upper Deck in Ortigas.

The eight-point victory over a gutsy Smart squad allowed Novesys to remain undefeated through three games in the six-team tournament presented by Kings of the Court | STR8 Philippines.

Ahead by 16 in the final frame, Novesys went scoreless through almost a five-minute dry spell, enabling Smart to mount a comeback. Ads Duran and Dicky Liwanag starred in a 16-0 blitz in the fourth quarter, erasing a 61-45 deficit at the final 5:40 to eventually draw level with 59 ticks remaining in the contest.

Needing a response, an embattled Novesys side turned to Joseph Guillermo for some late game heroics.

And boy, did he deliver.

Guillermo put a stop to Smart’s scoring tear with a booming three in the final 48 seconds, pushing Novesys ahead 64-61. Five made free throws from Rodelio Balbutin and Alex Diamitas iced the game in favor of Novesys as Smart bungled their final possessions, spoiling their spirited fourth quarter rally.

Diamitas came through with another double-double performance, consisting of 27 points and 13 rebounds. Balbutin chipped in 17 markers, while Guillermo added 10 for Novesys, which grabbed a share of the top spot at the team standings.

Duran and Liwanag scattered 18 and 17 points respectively for Smart, which dropped to a three-way logjam at third place with a 1-2 win-loss slate.



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