FIN&CLAW Grill scored a massive 88-83 upset of Farm Fresh-Letran to create a three-way tie on top of the Manila Bankers Life-Pilipinas Super League 18-Under’s NCR Leg on Wednesday at San Andres Gymnasium.
Fin&Claw, whose sole loss came at the hands of Taytay last May 7, racked up its fourth straight win, tying the Milkers and Ez Jersey Doc Boleros at the top of the 10-team leg, co-presented by SCD and Dumper party-list, and supported by J Project Clothings, MDC, Bluesky Advertising, NET 25, Wcube Solutions Inc., Hotel SOGO, and Converge.
It was a nip-and-tuck affair between the Quezon City-based squad and the defending NCAA champions that saw the game tied at 83-all with 1:18 left.
Debuting Earl Medina, who is an incoming high school senior for Adamson, was at the right place and at the right time for Fin&Claw, cleaning up a Peter Rosillo miss with 21 ticks left.
A turnover by Jonathan Manalili in the next possession led to three free throws for Alexandrei Gazzingan to secure the victory.
Medina and Gazzingan delivered big games for Fin&Claw, scoring 21 and 20 points respectively. Incoming Adamson freshman Rosillo tallied 16 points and eight assists as well.
Manalili paced the Milkers with 18 points but committed nine turnovers while Jovel Baliling added 17 points.
Kieffer Alas was held down to 10 points on 3-of-15 shooting.
Andy Gemao missed the game for Farm Fresh-Letran.
In the sole Luzon leg game of the day, Pampanga Pradera Theme Park clinched a Final Four berth after a dominant 110-87 triumph over Datzlav Sta. Cruz.
Pampanga, who notched its sixth straight win in as many games, is just two games away from gaining an outright finals berth which has the right to join Visayas Leg champion Sherilin Khalifa City of Naga, the NCR, and the Mindanao leg champions in the national finals.
Five Pampanga players score in double-figures with FEU-Diliman’s Veejay Pre leading the way with 19 points and 11 boards.
UST High’s Andrei Dungo and Justine Garcia added 15 points apiece while Jolo Navarro got 12 points and nine rebounds. La Salle’s Rhyle Melencio scored 11 markers as well.
Datzlav Sta. Cruz, who fell to 4-1 for solo second, was led by Jasper Matienzo, who tallied 17 points and 10 rebounds in the contest.
In the other NCR leg game, Taytay escaped also-ran Magnificent Manila, 73-71, to even its slate to 3-3, keeping its slim final four hopes alive.