South Flight soars past Hoops Project, notches Rooks Recreational title in thrilling fashion


By Hamsha Nocedo - Published December 13, 2019

South Flight had a dramatic rally in the end to steal the crown away from Hoops Project and hailed as Kings of the Court / STR8 Rooks Recreational Division 2019 champions, 76-73, last Sunday at the historic battlefield The Upperdeck Gym in Ortigas, Pasig city.

Struggling in the first three quarters, mythical team member Christjohn Jutie came out clutch as he contributed five points in a seven to nothing run to turn four point deficit into a two point advantage for South Flight, 75-73 with 17.5 seconds left in regulation.

After the back-to-back baskets, sharpshooter Marwin Montejo added a 15-foot jumper to steal a two point edge, and on their defensive possession Liomar Manigque had a crucial defensive block on Paul Goyenechea attempt to tie the ballgame - then Jutie split the charity to capped their dominating season with a championship.

Finals MVP Joel Agustin top-scored for South Flight with 18 points - while converting four triples from deep, including some key baskets in the pay-off period.

Jutie finished with another double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Montejo added 14, while Matmat Co had 13 and eight.

Meanwhile, Hoops project had a similar story in their first meeting last October 27 as they had a lead in the first half, then collapsing in the second half. In this game, they had a marginal 14-point edge at the end of the opening frame, 23-9 courtesy of Stephen Rabanal’s jumper.

Sustaining their defensive scheme against Jutie, the white shirts maintained on the driver seat entering halftime, 41-30. However, the tides have turned when South Flight shifted their D into full-court press, and found themselves trailing by three, 54-57.

They quickly got back on their feet as they had a six to zero blitz to get back on the driver's seat. Then later on, Rap Medina’s jumper gave them a four point lead, 73-69 with 1:49 to go in regulation before collapsing in the end game.

Rabanal had a sorry effort of 20 points, while shooting 58% from the field, Evan Brondial - who were hurt since the first quarter added a double-double with 16 and 15 boards, while Wency Magampo and Rap Medina chipped 13 and ten respectively.