Toyota-Bacolod turned back the hard fighting Sun Cellular, 117-112, Monday night to remain on top and enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage as the quartefinal round starts tonight in the 1st PROBAC/LNA7 Invitational Basketball Tournament at the West Negros University Gym.
Toyota will face No. 8 team Ink Crème, while Sun Cellular, which grabbed the No. 2 spot, will be playing against TJ Construction.
Ink Crème grabbed the last quarterfinal seat by beating the Bad Boys, 102-94, Monday night.
In the game between Toyota-Bacolod and Sun Cellular, Rico Cabatu scored a game-high 39 points, 19 in the final quarter, to anchor Toyota as Kempee Lagrason and Allan Jaena also had their big night with 19 and 18 points, respectively.
Just in the opening period, Cabatu sizzled with 20 points, including four from the three-point arc to lead Toyota’s 34-point first quarter output as teammates Boy Mariano sunk six points, while Jaena and Henry Subebe delivered four points each.
Sun trailed Toyota in the first quarter with 19 points, with Toffel Tan scoring seven of them and Patrick Echarri contributing six points.
Toyota continued to dominate the floor in the second quarter with a balanced offense from both the inside and the rainbow territory with Lagrason collecting 13 points, while Troy Sarabia and Tony Agustin combined for four 4 triples for a 29-point production.
Playmaker Peewee Demonteverde tried to match Toyota’s production from the three-point area with three treys for Sun, while teammate JR Fernandez scored the same output to carry Sun’s 27 points.
Refusing to give up easily, Sun managed to outscore Toyota in the third quarter, 35-28, to even the scoreboard at 91-all at the end of third.
Nato Canoy nailed five triples for 17 points in this period to lead Cellular’s offense, as Fr. Dexter Plagtiosa contributed nine points.
Toyota got 10 points from Jaena in this quarter, while Agustin connected with a pair triples and Lagrason added six more points to his credit.
Sun had the momentum in the final period scoring 31 points against Toyota’s 26, but it was not enough to outplay the tournament leader.
Mariano, Sarabia and Agustin finished the game with 9 points each, while Jack Tumayan and Henry Subebe had 6 points.
Meanwhile, Canoy and Fernandez collected 17 points apiece to lead Sun Cellular as Demonterverde added 15 points, Echarri with 14, Dave Docto with 12, Fr. Plagtiosa and Mars Echarri with 9 each, and Tan with 7 points.
In the second game, Ink Crème grabbed the last quarterfinal ticket by ousting the Bad Boys.
Efren Miravales topscored Ink Crème with 20 points as Dela Torre added 19, Aljin Araneta with 13, Michael Chan with 11, Panoy Baron with 9, Legaria 7, while Shen Claridad and Adaratso with 6 points each.
Bad Boys, meanwhile, was led by Raymond Lacson with 31 points backstopped by JP Geroso with 12, Ritchie Militante with 9 as Ren-Ren Lacson and Mark Yanson with 8 points each.*NAB
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