Team A-2 overcame Team A-3’s fourth quarter fightback to emerge victorious, 76-64, to conquer the 2018 PBA Draft Combine Finals, Thursday at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong.
A-2 lost hold of the 16-point lead they built in the second as A-3 knocked within threes early in the final frame, but Matt Salem and CJ Isit played the fireman’s role to save their side.
Combine Most Valuable Player JP Calvo paced A-2 with 23 points.
Calvo was responsible for putting his team up early, scoring 11 points in the first quarter alone to help A-2 post a 20-9 lead with 1:26 left – this, after A-2 went down 0-5 at the start of the match.
The diminutive point guard out of Letran was also the one who gave A-2 its biggest lead of the game at 16, 39-23, after going a perfect from the stripe with 1:46 left in the second quarter.
But A-3 fought back strongly come the fourth quarter. A Teytey Teodoro three-pointer from the wing, followed by a Dan Alberto split, lifted to within just three points, 52-55, with 5:58 remaining.
That, however, was their final hurrah.
Salem scored five straight points to help A-2 widen the gap to double digits again. Then he, Isit, and Paul Varilla joined hands afterwards to apply the finishing touches to the 14-point victory.
Isit, a Fil-Canadian guard out of Mapua, poured 22 points, while NU Bulldog Salem made 11 in the win. CEU Scorpions forward JJ Manlangit chipped in 11 markers as well.
San Sebastian Stag Michael Calisaan les A-3 with 15 points spiked by a pair of three-point bombs. Teodoro supplied 13 points, while St. Benilde Blazer Ralph Salcedo chipped in 12 markers.
Calvo, Calisaan, Salem, and San Beda Red Lions Javee Mocon and Robert Bolick make up the Mythical Five.
TEAM A-2 76 –– Calvo 23, Isit 22, Salem 11, Manlangit 11, Varilla 7, Babilonia 0, Cinco 0.
TEAM A-3 64 — Calisaan 15, Teodoro 13, Salcedo 12, Alberto 9, Quinto 8, Lao 7.
Quarterscores: 20-12, 43-31, 55-48, 76-64.