Final four: Lingayen, Manaoag, Urdaneta City and Sto. Tomas


THE teams of Lingayen, Manaoag, Urdaneta City and Sto. Tomas will comprise the big four that will see action for 3rd Governor’s Cup Inter-Town/City Basketball Tournament semifinals.

The four teams clobbered their arch foes– Tayug, Bautista, Bayambang, and Sual, respectively, in the magic rounds held at Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center (NRSCC) Gymnasium on March 23 and 24.

Defending champion Lingayen, led by Marven Jophet Mamaril, carved out a 116-91 victory over Tayug. With its twice-to-beat advantage, Lingayen maintained its composure in all four quarters of the match. Tayug could not stop the momentum of Lingayen that powered up and organized a sticky defense to wrap up their match with a 25-point advantage and earned its spot in the next round.

The blazing team of Manaoag, second season’s first runner-up, waylaid Bautista cagers in a lopsided match, 125-77. Manaoag sheltered a stunning 31-point advantage against Bautista in the first half of the game, 64-33.  In the third quarter, Bautista failed to sustain its momentum despite defensive plays engineered by Jerick Pagsolingan and Renz Cabullos. Manaoag ended the 3rd quarter 92-61, and with 125-77 to win a slot in the semifinals.

Urdaneta City faced a big test in its duel against Bayambang cagers as it battered the latter, thanks to its twice-to-beat advantage. Urdaneta City had to tap its stalwart players – Ismael Sarmiento, Jerome Corpuz and Christian Danielle Abo to control the first two quarters, 26-19 and 49-43, respectively.

Bolstered by the team’s second wind, Bayambang managed to close the lead and set a deadlock, 51-51, in the third quarter. But Urdaneta regained its bearing and maintained its  lead at the end of the third quarter, 74-67.

Things went downhill for Bayambang in the early minutes of the fourth quarter with Urdaneta cagers on top 94—77 to formalize its entry in the semis.

The team of Sto Tomas made it to the top four after beating Sual cagers twice in a row in the magic rounds of the basketball tourney.

In their first match, Sto. Tomas nipped Sual in a crucial match, 93-89, to beef up their bid to the next round. Playing key role in the crucial match, Ronald Garneth Asuncion rallied the Sto. Tomas team to keep up with the game played by Sual.

Sto. Tomas displayed its tight defense and blocking strategies to control the game in the fourth canto. With five minutes left, the scoreboard revealed that Sto. Tomas only needed to surpass the 6-point lead of Sual, 86-80.  The tension in the sports arena rose as the Sto. Tomas cagers pushed their way to chase the 2-point lead of Sual, 93-91, with 1:30 left in the game clock.

The fighting spirit of Sto Tomas was ignited by the flashing two-point basket launched by its star player, Asuncion to notch its victory with a nerve-wracking 1-point lead against Sual, automatically advance to the semifinals. (PIO/SMDG)

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