Cookies meet destiny, win 2nd ABT Men’s title

Cookies & Team banked on a furious fourth quarter run to pull the rug under Team Knights and clinch the APCRAA Basketball Tournament (ABT) Season 5 men’s division championship, 89-88, Saturday night, October 19, at the Asia Pacific College Gymnasium.

Lester de Luna, who fueled the run in the final canto, ended up with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Team captain Brix Estabillo exploded with 19 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists; he missed Game 2 due to an injury.

The victory gives Cookies their second ABT championship and their first since winning it in 2016, when they are still known as the Bumblebees.

Guess dela Cuesta, who contributed 15 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists, was named the Finals Most Valuable Player. He also became the 9th player in ABT history to become a member of the 500 points club after drilling the clincher basket at the 6:11 mark of the 3rd quarter.

Team Knights on the other hand had four players scoring double digits. Rookie of the Year Nonoy Sonbise finished with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. JC Hermo had his season high 16 points with 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals. Jhonel de Luna and season MVP Mark Rivera added 18 and 19 points respectively to the Knights’ output.

The Knights opened the game with a fiery start and secured the lead in the first quarter by as much as 8 points. Then Cookies made its own run by the second quarter to put the game within reach by halftime, 40-38.

It became a see-saw battle in the third quarter when Cookies responded to the Knights’ offensive. By the final period, Estabillo and de Luna led a scoring run to secure a three-point lead for Cookies with less than a minute remaining in the game. Knights had a chance to send the game to overtime but Sonbise missed a potential game tying three point basket, sealing the championship to the Cookies & Team.


KNIGHTS (88): Sonbise 20, Rivera 19, De Luna 18, Hermo JC 16, Hermo JL 9, Banua M 4, Vizconde 2, Dionisio 0, Olores 0, Pintado 0, Cerrado 0, Brioso 0

COOKIES & TEAM (89): Estabillo 19, De Luna 15, Dela Cuesta 15, Gratil 9, Ringor 8, De Guzman 7, Belardo 6, Prion 4, San Diego 2, Trinidad 0, Villas 0

QUARTERSCORES: 24-17, 40-38, 63-64, 88-89

REFEREES: N. Basilio, V. Racho, D. Ruelos

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