On paper, the Vipers appeared to be the loaded and much stronger team. But from start to finish, it was the Griffins who had full control of the game.
From the get-go, the Griffins quickly pounced on the unwary Vipers and jumped to an early 17-4 advantage. With team captain Tarranza hitting his first two shots, the Griffin offense found their groove early on.
In the start of the second quarter, the Vipers made a run of their own courtesy of the play of Dave Sotto and a couple of Hiso mid-range jumpers to pull within two points of the Griffins. But, that was as close as the Vipers would get in regaining the lead as after a quick timeout, the Griffins responded with a flurry of baskets that the Vipers seemingly couldn’t stop. The lead ballooned back to fifteen and the Griffins never looked back again.
Before halftime, the Vipers already started showing signs of frustration, as Hiso initiated unnecessary contact and had a brief exchange of words with Ralph Honorico of the Griffins.
The third quarter and fourth quarters saw a bit of the same theme; the Griffins continued to pile up to their lead, which eventually reached 25 points. Miguel Gancio’s energy and hustle were contagious to the Griffins, as every time he made a play, the crowd went crazy and his teammates responded with plays of their own.
Tempers flared once again late in the third, as Jewel Evangelio of the Griffins and Sotto of the Vipers got tangled up in mid-court.
By this time, the body language of B&M players already indicated signs of giving up. Sotto was the only player who looked like he still wanted to fight, and his valiant effort netted him several respectable token plays. The Vipers eventually succumbed to the Griffins, 78-64.
Asked about how they weathered the Viper run early in the second quarter and what he told his guys to regroup them, Accountancy team captain Joseph Clydel Pestañas shared, “Ganun talaga. Basketball is a game of runs. So, when the B&M Vipers made their run, we made an effort to adjust to them. Once naka-adjust na kami, lumobo na ulit yung lamang.”
Tarranza also mentioned that being the underdog was their motivation to win this game.
“Kahit champion kami last year, wala sa amin ang pressure at hindi kami ang team to beat. Underdog parin kami. That was our motivation coming into this game,” He said.