Top Seed Sta. Fe Resort and No. 3 Buddy Johann Kendrick Tan set up a championship showdown in Class B of the 12th Tan Kek Pin Memorial Basketball Cup at Bacolod Tay Tung High School Po Hang Gym.
Earlier, Sta. Fe Resort pulled away in the fourth quarter to put away Nena’s Rose II Shopping, 87-70, and good free throw shooting carried Buddy JKT through against 888 Chinatown Square, 87-81.
For the second straight game, Buddy beat an opponent that has defeated them in the elimination round and hoped to continue the trend when it meets Sta. Fe in the finals, playing as of presstime.
But it will be an uphill climb for the three-peat seeking JKT as Sta. Fe Resort is unbeaten in the tournament with nine straight games and will have a twice-to-beat advantage.
888 and Buddy fought to a 66-all deadlock at the end of the third quarter.
JKT was forcing their outside shots early in the payoff quarter while 888 Rey Pandoro was unstoppable with his drives and forced Buddy to an early penalty situation.
But 888 could not pull away due to their inconsistent free throw shooting, while JKT slowly chopped the lead via the 15-foot line to force a deadlock at 75-all.
Mark Binguan sunk a trey to give Buddy the lead, 78-76 as 888 missed their on their chances to grab the lead anew as they only managed to tie with free throw misses continue to hound them.
Binguan followed up his clutch triple with five straight free throws to give Buddy an 85-81 lead that sealed the championship appearance for JKT.
Binguan topscored with 24 points for JKT, Badong Eufre added 13, Charlton Ong made 11, Franklyn Madrid shot 10 points, Vincent Javelosa hit 8, and Stephen Tan with 7 points.
Pandoro paced 888 with 19 points, Ralph Richard Tan scored 13, all in the first quarter, Mark Lo shot 10, Jan jan Lopue and Richard Co had 8 points apiece.
In the second game, Daniel Chiu and Bol Manaloto combined for 21 points in the opening quarter to lead Sta. Fe Resort to a 26-12 lead.
Jan Guevarra scored 11 points and Ryan Alegario with 8 points to spearhead Nena’s Rose Shopping comeback as they cut the deficit to 43-37 at the half.
But in the payoff quarter Nena’s could not contain the balanced offensive by Sta. Fe as Michael Ang and Daniel Chiu buried 4 triples between them as Manaloto scored 7 points.
Manaloto led Sta. Fe offensive with 19 points while Vincent Tan topscored for Nena’s Rose with 10 points.*
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