Saturday, May 10, 2014

CALABARZON Escapes Late Western Visayas Onslaught, Sets Championship Date with NCR

Wazzup Pilipinas!

San Beda-CALABARZON almost blew up a 16-point advantage but regrouped just in time to beat Hua Siong-Western Visayas, 81-74, in their Palarong Pambansa Secondary Boys Basketball semifinal showdown at the San Luis Sports Complex in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

CALABARZON once held a 42-26 lead late in the second quarter, but second half rallies by Western Visayas trimmed the lead to as low as one, 75-74, on a Leo Bayotas tip-in with 1:10 remaining in the game.

Bayotas had a chance to give Western Visayas the lead, but he missed a lead-changing three-pointer with 49.6 seconds left.

E.J. Furaque grabbed the loose ball and made two free throws after being fouled to increase CALABARZON's lead to three.

Spencer Pretta then tried his own luck from the outside, but his corner three clanked. Franz Abuda rebounded the ball, and Ralph Penuela got tagged with an unsportsmanlike foul for the dangerous defensive play against the son of former PBA player Freddie Abuda.

The younger Abuda, however, missed his two free throws, opening some daylight for the Iloilo-based team. But Marc Diputado killed Western Visayas' hopes when he found room for the game-deciding layup.

Western Visayas tried one more shot to keep the game interesting, but the team missed another trey, and its opponent sealed a hard-earned win with two more free throws from Diputado. The win sets up a blockbuster match with NU-NCR for the championship tomorrow at 9:30 AM.

Asked about his mindset in the homestretch of the match, Diputado, who had 13 points, four rebounds, and three assists, said that he really needed to make the lay-up since he erred in the previous play.

He also said that he felt vindicated with the crucial twinner. He added that he will focus on defense for tomorrow's game.

Coach JB Sison, on the other hand, lauded Diputado for the deciding basket. "I gave him a chance to redeem himself after he committed a costly mistake, and he responded well," Sison said.

Asked about how his team hacked out the close win, he added, "When our lead was chopped to one, I told them to keep calm."

Sison also looks toward the championship game, a rematch of their game in the FilOil Flying V Premier Cup last April 26 in San Juan, in a different manner. He said, "NCR is entirely different. This is not entirely composed of NU players but also reinforced with top players from other schools. We will actually face an all-star team tomorrow." San Beda defeated NU, 86-68, in that meeting.

He, however, also stated that they are confident to win the game. "Just more chemistry, and we will succeed," Sison said.

Tyke Bano scored 20 points to lead Western Visayas, who will battle Central Visayas at 7:30 AM for third place.

Box Scores:

CALABARZON 81-Furaque 16, Diputado 13, Abatayo 11, Gumtang 10, De Villeres 9, Decapia 7, Framil 5, Abuda 4, Bordeos 4, Abuhije 2, Ancheta 0

Western Visayas 74-Bano 20, Calvo 15, Edjan 13, Bayotas 9, Dixon 8, Burri 7, Penuela 2, Pretta 0, Defensor 0

Quarterscores: 25-17, 46-33, 62-53, 81-74
Games Today May 10, 2014 (Saturday):
7:30 AM-Central Visayas vs. Western Visayas (Bronze Medal Game)
9:30 AM-NCR vs. CALABARZON (Championship Game)

Contributed by Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

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