OLSABL Seniors Division Finals Preview: Will 1987 continue its dominant playoff run or will 1991 usher in a new era?


By Jordan Samar - Published April 26, 2019

The 1987 team has always been a fixture in the OLSABL Finals Seniors Division. While their dominance has already been established in the league, they’ll be the underdogs against the top-seeded 1991 club this time around.

From the get-go, 1987 already made their presence felt as they try to bounce back from last year’s finals loss against 1986. En route to the finals, 1987 scored strong wins against their counterparts.

In what was last year’s finals rematch, Vince Lizo and the rest of the 1987 club waylaid 1986, 84-56. The loss sent 1986 to the bottom half of the standings, ultimately ending their playoff aspirations.

Lizo continued his rampage by leading 1987 to a momentous win against 1992, 73-61, in the semis. He notched 16 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists, while Ronnie Ong led all scorers with 20 markers.

Meanwhile, 1991 dashed through to the top of the standings, posting an identical 5-1 win-loss card with 1987. 1991 got the edge since it won against 1987 in their regular season matchup.

In the semis, 1991 was able to pull away in the second half against 1989, 78-62, with Tonyboy Espinosa notching 20 points, 16 rebounds, and 12 assists. They’ll look to frustrate 1987’s hope for redemption in the finals.

By the numbers

A class of their own: 1987 and 1991 have left their imprint in this year’s OLSABL as all their wins were in double digits in the regular season and in the semifinals. 1987 and 1991’s average winning margins were 19.5 and 16.3 respectively. Both teams posted scoring norms of 77.7 and 76.3 so far respectively.

Players to look out for

Can Vince Lizo bring 1987 all the way to the promised land this time? After a failed title bid last season, Vince Lizo took it upon himself to bring his A-game for 1987. He currently leads the league in statistical points with 268.5 and is averaging 20.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game.

Who can stop the duo of Poch Juinio and Tonyboy Espinosa? These two former PBA stalwarts have been carrying the load on both ends for the resurgent 1991 squad and they’re both in the high-200’s in terms of statistical points. 1987 will surely have their work cut out for them in dealing with this lethal one-two punch.