PHILOSOPHY SEIZED the championship in this year’s AB Sportsfest basketball league after defeating last season’s first runner-up Sociology in a head-to-head finals match, 72-68.
Hencel Gumabay, who was awarded the Most Valuable Player, contributed 18 points for Philosophy. Jericho Abesamis and John Emmanuel Tan also added 12 points each in the tally.
Both teams hustled immediately with good offense in the first quarter. Abesamis answered the trey of Sociology’s Lanz Mendoza, who started the chase for lead, 9-10, in favor of his team.
The jump shots of Philosophy’s Tan and Josh Zipagan handed the team its six-point edge by the end of first quarter, 19-13.
Fouls by Sociology’s Mendoza and a floater from Philosophy’s Peña saved Philosophy during the early part of the second frame, 26-25.
But Rowi Pascual of Sociology snatched the lead for his team in the middle of the second quarter after shooting a trey and two charities, 26-30.
Abesamis responded to Pascual with a trey, followed by a two-pointer and a bonus from Gumabay, regaining the lead for Philosophy by the end of first half, 34-30.
Tan and Abesamis immediately fired back-to-back hoops from beyond the arc but Mendoza and Pascual overwhelmed them with consecutive treys, which brought the scores to 46-42, still in Philosophy’s favor.
Gumabay, who was fouled three times by Sociology, contributed six of his eight points from free throws in the quarter. Philosophy maintained their lead at 52-46 with three minutes remaining in the frame.
With Mendoza being fouled out, Miguel Vidal stepped up for Sociology in the last quarter. His fastbreak point and consecutive treys stole the lead, 57-61.
The duo of Tan and Gumabay reacted quickly, scoring a three and a two-pointer, respectively, which brought the deficit to one at 62-63.
Gumabay and Tan continued on delivering jump shots while Sociology’s Pascual still tried to take back the lead for his team with two minutes and 15 seconds remaining, 69-66.
Vidal attempted for a trey in the last 38 seconds of the game while Gerrald Tagle aimed for a fast break point but Sociology fell short to Philosophy’s court supremacy, 72-68.
“Unang-una wala sa amin ang pressure… Inuna namin ‘yung depensa, lumabas ang opensa namin,” Philosophy team’s coach Emmanuel De Leon said. “Gusto lamang naming ipaabot sa AB na hindi lamang kami nag-iisip, naglalaro rin kami.”
Sociology’s team captain Hector Reyes, meanwhile, admitted that his team committed a few mistakes that Philosophy took advantage of, but said they played wholeheartedly and would allot time for practice for a “sure win” next year. F MIKKAH F. FACTOR