Freeman Cebu Sports

Naga stuns San Fernando in overtime thriller

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Playing before their home fans gave added strength and motivation for host Naga Atong Garbo as they opened their campaign with a 76-73 overtime upset of the defending champion San Fernando Buffalos at the start of the Rhea Gullas Cup 1st District of Cebu Inter-City/Municipality Sports Festival 2024 on Saturday, February 10, at the Enan Chiong Activity Center in the City of Naga, south of Cebu.  

The Buffalos, who went undefeated in clinching last year s crown capped by a 2-0 sweep of Talisay Aksyon Agad in the finals, surged to 50-43 lead after three quarters, but Naga greeted the fourth period with an 11-0 outburst to seize the driver s seat 54-50.

Naga even stretched their lead to double-digit 65-55 but the Buffalos retaliated with an searing 11-1 run capped by Mark Chan  crucial 3-pointer in the dying seconds of the regulation that sent that game into overtime.

A see-saw battle ensued in the extra period, but Reche Navales  go-ahead basket cushioned Naga to a cliff-hanging win.

John Carlo Bastismo showed the way for Naga with 22 points, four rebounds, and one assist to emerge as Player of the Game. Mark Andrey Candia added 15 markers, seven boards, two dimes, and two steals while Jowee Canonigo also cracked double figures with 11 points, eight rebounds, three steals, and a block.

Vaness Deiparine had an all-around show of 21 points, four rebounds, four assists, and three steals but his efforts went down the drain for the Buffalos.

Chan finished with 15 points, five rebounds, seven assists, and four steals, Alfonso Aurio, Jr. added 14 points, seven rebounds, and four steals, while Julliver Rick Ramos posted a double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds laced with six steals and three blocks in San Fernando s losing cause.

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