NBA
Wolves foil Bandits, nail first ABP crown
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - February 4, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Wolves finally nailed the big one, beating the four-time winners Bandits, 16-0, to capture the Arena Ball Philippines (ABP) Season 5 championship at the Emperador Stadium, McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio recently.

The Wolves outplayed the fancied Bandits in the second half with quarterback Troy Lynch, WR Ivan Klaric, Dino Yuzon, DJ Mello, Steve Smith and Yosh Sakurai combining on both ends to secure the victory after a tight, scoreless first half battle of defensive skills.

It was an inspiring victory for the Wolves, who had languished in the cellar the past four seasons while foiling the Bandits’ drive for a fifth straight championship. 

Lynch, the sportsman of the year, and Klaric, the Season 5 MVP, teamed up to score a 30-yard touchdown in the second half, sparking a wild celebration from the Wolves fans.

The Bandits tried to bounce back behind WR Raj Luza but just couldn’t get through the Wolves’ swarming defense. Lynch scored a 2-yard TD later for a 13-0 lead before Mello knocked in a field goal for the final tally.

The Bandits tried to rally one last time but the Wolves linebackers, Steve Smith and Yosh Sakurai, made two consecutive sacks, dashing the four-time champions’ hopes for a comeback.

In the first half, the Bandits’ JP Suarez, EJ Lioanag and John Dang clogged the inside running game of the Wolves but Evan Baylon, Yuzon, Rudolf Montero and Smith proved too much for the power run duo of the Bandits’ Will Yeh and Mark Marigomen.

Bandits’ secondary GJ Dy made an early interception but failed to convert as the Wolves’ defense held. Late into the second quarter, the Bandits’ playing coach Will Yeh tested the mettle of the Wolves interior defense but ended up injuring himself in the play. This ultimately ended the running game of the Bandits as QB Mike Hoese was forced to depend on his receivers and focused on Luza.

ARENA BALL PHILIPPINES BANDITS DINO YUZON EMPERADOR STADIUM EVAN BAYLON FORT BONIFACIO IVAN KLARIC LIOANAG AND JOHN DANG STEVE SMITH AND YOSH SAKURAI WOLVES
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