Outscoring the Realtors, 28-14, in the fourth quarter, torrid-shooting Racal, which trailed, 47-29, at the half, then handed the ball to Jessie Saitanan, who drained 3-pointers to kick off and cap the extra period. Racal drained 10 of 28 triples while Sta. Lucia, who bowed out from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) a few years ago, went 10 of 28 beyond the arc.Roider Cabrera led Racal with 25 points, including five three-pointers, with 9 rebounds while ex-pro Rudy Lingganay added 23 on 11 of 12 free throw shooting and 9 assists. Mark Montuano was Racal’s third 20-point-plus scorer with 21 points.
The lone missed free throw by Lingganay, who had stints with Pop Cola, Globalport, Kia and NLEX, could have averted overtime. But as it turned out, Racal, behind by 14 at the start of the fourth quarter, still had enough firepower left to deny the two-time PBA champions and PCBL founding chairman Buddy Encarnado.“We were able to address our problems in the first half during the break,” said Racal coach Jing Ruiz, a former Letran Knight and ex-Shell player in the pros. “Sta. Lucia is a strong team. Siguro ang lamang lang namin e mas experienced ang mga players naming kaya alam nila kung ano ang gagawin kahit nakalaman ng una yung kalaban.”
Ruiz, who played several conferences with the Otto Shoes team managed by Encarnado in the Philippine Amateur Basketball League, one of the tournaments the PCBL is patterned after, showed his respect for his former benefactor by walking over to greet the Sta. Lucia team official after the customary coaches handshake after the game.“Malaking bagay ‘tong tournament na nagawa nina boss Buddy, especially para sa mga ex-PBA players kasi bata pa naman siya para mag-retire e. Kailangan nila ang mga ganitong liga para makabalik uli sa PBA kung sakali,” Ruiz said.
Jhaps Bautista led SLR with 21 points.