Wells Fargo squeaks past defending champs Southern Cross


By Louigi Diaz, published May 31, 2019

As the new season of the Kings of the Court | STR8 Corporate Intermediate Invitationals kicked off last Sunday, a big challenge awaits Southern Cross, the defending champions, as they face a hungry protagonist.

The defending tournament champions fell 59-57 to Wells Fargo in their opening day match held last Sunday at the Reyes Gym in Mandaluyong, with Ralph Shappit nailing the game-winning trey.

Wells Fargo came out victorious in their back-and-forth thrilling game against Southern Cross led by the efficient efforts of Julius De Guzman, who finished with five points and eight rebounds. De Guzman’s defensive prowess was also a big factor in their opening game win after giving his assigned man a headache after tallying a single block and three steals in total.

Both teams had a bitter-shooting game that resulted into a low-scoring affair at the opening canto. The score was tied at 14-apiece in the end of the first quarter, as the ballers clad in black and white kept pounding to get the momentum in the game.

As the low-scoring game continued until the final period, both squads put up a thrilling ending by exchanging baskets until the dying seconds.

Ramon Gatan nailed both of his free throw attempts to give Wells Fargo the advantage seconds left in the game. Jheyar Marcelo answered with a bucket to regain the lead for Southern Cross.

However, Shappit came out heroic on a well-set-up play off a timeout by Wells Fargo. Shappit connected on a triple from the right wing to secure a 59-57 cushion for Wells Fargo with 14.3 seconds remaining in the game. Southern Cross failed to execute a good play in their final possession due to a huge defensive stop by Wells Fargo.

Gatan led the scorers for Well Fargo with nine points, matched with nine rebounds and one assist. Alvin Dela Cruz and Joseph Arcilla had eight markers apiece.

Marcelo finished the game with a double-double consisting of 14 points and 11 rebounds, along with two assists and an impressive six steals. Emil Abatan torched the net with 13 markers and grabbed nine boards. Ruperto Ramos Jr. also scored 13 points.


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