Top seed Manila and Valenzuela will try to arrange a title showdown in the North Division of the 2018 Metro League Open basketball championship at the San Andres Sports Complex in Malate.
Manila, who clinched top seed, will meet number 4 Caloocan, while Valenzuela, the second seed, will battle No. 4 Quezon City in a pair of exciting matches starting at 7 p.m.
Both with a twice-to-beat advantages by virtue of their 1-2 finish, Manila and Valenzuela need only to beat Caloocan and Quezon City today to advance to the finals.
Actually, all four teams – Manila, Valenzuela, Quezon City and Caloocan – finished with similar 7-2 records in the tournament organized by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and supported by the Philippine Basketball Association.
Manila clinched top seed with plus-15, followed by Valenzuela with minus-1, Quezon City with minus-4, and Caloocan with minus-10.
In the South, Taguig survived a last-ditch rally by Parañaque, 84-78, to advance to the finals.
The Generals relied on Jerry Lumongsod (23 points), Richard Albo (12 points, eight rebounds), and Nico Alcantara (10 points), Richmond Gilbero (10 points) and Lery Mayo (10 points) to slam the door on the Green Berets
Alfonso Rodriguez led the Green Berets with 17 points and 11 rebounds, followed by Gwayne Capacio with 14 points. Cris Vincent Dalaten had 14 points.
The Generals led, 71-56, before the Green Berets scored nine straight points in a two-minute span to threaten to within 65-71 with still 6:27 left.
Another scoring run put the Green Berets to within 74-77, before a closing 7-4 run sealed the win for the Generals.
But Taguig will have to wait for their championship opponent, as Pateros pulled of a thrilling 66-62 win over Solid San Juan -Big Chill in the other semifinal.
Rickson Gerero finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, and four assists for Pateros.
Ariel Capus contributed eight points and eight rebounds, while Jio Lopez had eight points and four rebounds. Eric Mabazza also added eight points and four assists.
Emmanuel Elarmo paced San Juan with a double-double 12 points and 12 rebounds while Jahn Ryan Magbanua had 10 points and six rebounds.
The 10-team tournament also has Synergy 88, San Miguel Corp., World Balance, Frabelle Foods, Summit Mineral Water, Alco Plus, Gerry’s Grill, Excellent Noodles, glitter.ph, SM Supermalls and Nature’s Spring as the major sponsors.
Taguig (84) – Lumungsod 23, Albo 12, Mayo 10, Alcantara 10, Gilbero 10, Oliveria 6, Lontoc 5, Ajero 2, Dela Virgen 2, Ferriols 2, Cambaya 2, Almerol 0, Tiburcio 0.
Parañaque (78) – Rodriguez 17, Capacio 14, Dalaten 14, Encela 9, Labog 9, Villareal 3, Baguio 2, Danac 0, Partosa 0, Elorde 0.
Quarterscores: 15-22, 42-41, 64-51, 84-78.
Pateros (66) – Gerero 15, Capus 8, Lopez 8, Mabazza 8, Quinga 7, Mercado 7, Singontiko 7, Navarro 6, Brojan 0
San Juan (62) – Elarmo 12, Magbanua 10, Corpuz 8, Saret 8, Rosopa 7, Acol 5, Astrero 5, Jagunap 4, Dada 3, Paras 0
Quarterscores: 10-20, 29-32, 48-44, 66-62