It will be top seed La Consolacion College Blue Royals going up against defending champions PATTS College of Aeronautics Sea Horses for the 10th Inter-Scholastic Athletic Association Seniors Basketball title, after they disposed of their rivals to end the semifinals round on Monday at the LCCM Gym.
PATTS avoided a major endgame collapse to take out rookie team Trinity University of Asia Stallions via a two-game sweep, 62-57. In the next game, LCCM eliminated the Philippine Women’s University Patriots, 49-43, to also sweep their best of three series.
Wide body Leonard Mengoy stepped up big time, as he led the Seahorses with 16 points, plus a lot of hustle and defense not seen on the score sheets.
Freshman sensation Mark Jayson Morada supported him with 12 points, while Norman Torreno and Aldrich Lopez had 10 points each.
The Seahorses threatened to blow the game apart as they scored eight straight to end the third, 47-36, behind a basket from Morada, a Torreno triple, and capped by a three-point play by Mengoy.
PATTS enjoyed their biggest lead, 56-40, but the Stallions came galloping back behind to within eight, 50-58, but free throws down the stretch from Morada and Torreno saved the day.
In a low-scoring affair, Gabriel Latoreno completed a three-point play with 3:55 left in the third to restore the lead to the Blue Royals for good, 27-25.
From there, the home squad held form via timely baskets from TJ Carino and Jessie Bardaje, with team leader Thurlough Grealy assuring the win from the free throw line with 10 seconds remaining after PWU’s Ivan Andaya scored at the 20-second mark to threaten for the last time, 43-47.
Bardaje and Carino paced the Blue Royals with 10 points each, with Carino pumping in seven during the crucial fourth period. Grealy added nine points, while Latoreno finished with seven points.
The best of three championship series will commence on November 9, again at LCCM.
PATTS (62) – Mengoy 16, Morada 12, Torreno 10, Lopez 10, Bautista 5, Palencia 4, Saliddin 3, Po 1, JG Reyes 1, Reed 0.
TUA (57) – Montero 13, Nidoy 12, Aguas 9, Ortega 8, Juico 7, Godinez 3, Mariano 3, Filart 2, Elorde 0, Goduco 0.
Quarterscores: 17-16, 27-29, 47-36, 62-57.
LCCM (49) – Bardaje 10, Carino 10, Grealy 9, Latoreno 7, Dagunan 6, Talag 5, Tamayo 2, Navarette 0, Marquez 0, Martin 0.
PWU (43) – Salting 14, Carbonell 10, Domingo 9, Andaya 6, Himan 4, Esteves 0, Tiongson 0, Navarro 0, Fajardo 0, Danila 0, Abequibel 0.
Quarterscores: 11-12, 22-20, 35-28, 49-43.