Braves edge out Robins, enter Finals for first time

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 20, 2015 02:26 PM
Braves edge out Robins, enter Finals for first time
HISTORY. Arellano are set to make their first appearance in the NCAA Juniors basketball Finals

Arellano High School has finally made history as they emerge as the last team standing in the stepladder playoffs in the NCAA 91 Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Guillmer dela Torre and Lars Sunga scored 23 points apiece and the Braves came from behind to snatch an 85-79 victory from the Malayan High School Red Robins on Tuesday at the MOA Arena.

The win sends unheralded Arellano and head coach Tylon Dar Juan to their first-ever Finals. “Lagi ko lang silang mino-motivate na kaya niyo yan,” the second-year mentor said in his post-game conference.

Second-seeded Malayan were in control and in front, 65-59, until third-seeded Arellano mounted a furious fightback and tied the contest at 76 inside the last two minutes. Marlon Espiritu then finally sent the Braves in front via four unanswered points.

The Robins were not going to give up that easy and Romuel Junsay converted a three-point play to decrease the deficit to only 79-80 with 39 ticks remaining. That was the closest they would reach, however, as Arellano closed the game on a 5-0 run.

All in all, Dar Juan’s boys outscored their opponents, 26-14, in the last 10 minutes to set a Finals date with thrice-to-beat San Beda High School. The Braves also defeated Ricci Rivero and College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills in the stepladder playoffs.

BOX SCORES

ARELLANO 85 – Sunga 23, Dela Torre 23, Abadeza 9, Velasco 8, Bataller 8, Espiritu 7, Tamayo 4, Fornis 2, Dularte 1, Calapine 0

MALAYAN 79 – Concepcion 20, Enriquez 20, Salenga 14, Junsay 13, Yco 6, Bonifacio 4, Garcia 2, Badillo 0, Velvez 0, Samonteza 0, Uson 0

QUARTER SCORES: 19-20, 39-44, 59-65, 85-79

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