Dammam, Saudi Arabia – The Zuhair Fayez Partnership Consultants beat Zamil CoolCare in Inter-company League C, 70-57, for a 2-1 clinching victory of the Best-of-Three-Finals of the Eastern Province Basketball League “Friendship Cup” at the jam-packed Al-Ettifaq Club here Friday .
It was the consultants 1st appearance in EPBL and earned the coveted crown undefeated through the eliminations, and after losing game one, the boys of Coach Joel Bandiola run a balanced offense and defense in game two and three to earn the victory. Both teams were fully supported by their company executives, and brought their noisy crowds, drums and trumpets, that added to the excitement from the start to finish.
Zamil CoolCare looked so impressive at the start with a 4-0 run, but the consultants made up a 7-2 assault capped by a John Fandino triple and Rowell Jocson back to back baskets to gain the upper hand at 7-6. Cool Care’s Carlo Algerre had a short jumper to regain the lead, but Zuhair Fayez held on for a 14-13 lead at the end of the period.
The consultants took advantage of a six-minute drought by CoolCare in the second quarter to extend their lead to 24-13, but Miguelito Placino’s three-point play broke the silence of Zamil for a 16-24 score, but the consultants added to their lead to make it 35-22 at the turn.
MVP awardee Olivier Claudel completely erased a Zamil rally in the third period with a solid defense that complimented his 10 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks for a commanding 58-35 advantage. It seemed like an insurmountable margin at the start of the fourth period, but Zamil had a furious rally with a 19-2 run to cut the deficit to only six at 54-60, with 2:50 remaining in the period. However, Zamil gunner Michael Arancillo fouled-out in the stretch and the Cool Care’s managed to score only 3-points the rest of the way.
The consultants Roldan Santos, Rowell Jocson and Olivier, together with Arancillo and Mario Guinto of Zamil were named to the mythical five.
Meanwhile, Panda Hypermarket earned their comeback championship victory via a lopsided 91-68 win against defending champion Al Bilad Fire Fighting Company to complete a two-game sweep in the Best-of-Three-Finals in Intercompany League B-2 division.
Ahmed Ismael unanimously named as the Best Player in the conference was again in the deadly form with a fine performance of 11 points and 10 rebounds, but Mythical Five team member Marlon Paltep took the show in the third quarter with a perfect 4-of-4 three-points shooting. Mike Viduya did a great job too with 16 points and joined Ismael and Paltep together with Al Bilad Eric Bautista and Dexter Aquino as the Mythical Five.
EPBL 23rd year is sponsored by Al Falak System Solution and Consulting Company and Saudi Ready Mix Concrete Company “Green Machine”, Gulf Consolidated Contractors Company, Telemony, Al Enaizi Enterprises, Phuket Restaurant and Aling Cecile’s Catering.
In another title match, Zamil Industrial Basketball Team notched Game One in Inter-company League B-1 division with a 97-86 decision against the Al Falak team. Multi-MVP awardee Darwin Tuazon had again a strong performance with a game high of 30 points and seven rebounds.