After cruising in the eliminations and the semifinals, Bacolod Basketball Club/Amazing '09 will have their real test tonight as the squad dispute the crown against Batch 2003/2004 Martha in the start of the best-of-three finals of the 4th University of St. La Salle Alumni Association/LNA7 Sports Foundation Basketball Tournament at the West Negros University Gym.
Martha earned the right to face the undefeated BBC/Amazing '09 in the finals after beating twice erstwhile No. 2 Batch 2008/Shakey's in the semifinals.
Wednesday night's 87-79 victory of Martha against Shakey's signaled the transformation of the team into a formidable squad ready to dispute the title against BBC.
Martha traded shots with Shakey's in the first quarter for a one-point lead at 16-15 going into the second canto.
With Shakey's gunner Nikos Cuenca staying on the bench in the second quarter due to a sprained ankle, Martha pulled away with a 28-9 run for a 44-25 halftime.
Shakey's crumbled in the third quarter as its key player Rosue Banzuela was limited to 10 points. Martha padded its lead to 21
points behind Crister Isulat's 10 points, including two hits from the three-point area.
Hoping to snatch the victory from the grasp of Martha, Shakey's established a 36-24 run in the final quarter but the rally was too late as Martha was on its way of clinching the last final berth.
Velez led Martha with 12 points as Hererra finished with 11, Isulat with 10, Melocoton added 9, Celestial and Castellano tallied 8 apiece, and Shulz with 7 points.
Banzuela topscored for Shakey's with 19 points, CJ Ramos added 18, Patrick Ramos chipped in 9, and Justin Togado registered 8 points.*NAB
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