QC, San Juan sweep quarters rivals to set up duel in MPBL Final Four
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 19, 2019 02:43 PM
It will be QC vs SJ in the MPBL semis
Quezon City and San Juan completed sweeps of their respective rivals last Monday at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan and set up a Final Four showdown in the northern division of the 2019 MPBL Datu Cup.
The Capitals banked on the late game explosion of Andoy Estrella, who knocked in 15 of his 19 markers in the fourth period and carried the Capitals to a 77-74 win over the Makati Super Crunch.
Ranked seventh ahead of the playoffs, the Capitals became the first team to advance in the semifinals in the northern division where they will face another crack squad in the Knights, a 75-69, winner over the gritty Navotas Clutch.
What’s surprising was Quezon City’s surge in the playoffs which saw it snap Makati’s 15-game winning run and then come up with a fitting follow-up win to end the series in an impressive fashion.
The Capitals’ small ball lineup proved to be cut out against the pressing defense of the Super Crunch, who elected to match up with their rivals instead of using their usual lineup composed of taller players.
Quezon City capitalized on that moment headed by Estrella.
Estrella’s triple in the last 2:38 mark of the fourth quarter put the Capitals ahead, 71-61, and the team which didn’t even make the .500 mark in the elimination round, completed one of the biggest turnarounds in the tournament so far.
On the other hand, San Juan kept its composure in the midst of Navotas’ repeated uprisings before preserving a win.
The Knights had to hold their breath in the last few seconds of the game when Donald Gumaru completed a steal and had a chance to cut down the Knights’ lead within striking distance.
But the two-way guard committed an error by throwing a bad pass on Samboy de Leon, allowing the Knights to escape with the win.
John Wilson sealed the Knights’ win with two free throws in the last 33 seconds for the final tally.