NCAA: LSGH sinks LPU to seize twice-to-beat in Final Four

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 11, 2018 12:13 PM
NCAA: LSGH sinks LPU to seize twice-to-beat in Final Four
Defending champion CSB-LSGH has secured the first of two twice-to-beat advantages in the Final Four - and is also one win away from the overall top-seed (FILE PHOTO)

STANDINGS
LSGH 14-2 (twice-to-beat)
MAPUA 12-4 (Final Four)
SAN BEDA 10-5
JRU 10-6
LPU 9-8
PERPETUAL 7-9 (eliminated)
ARELLANO 6-9 (eliminated)
SAN SEBASTIAN 5-11 (eliminated)
LETRAN 4-12 (eliminated)
EAC 3-14 (eliminated)

This time around in the NCAA 94 Men’s Basketball Tournament, College of St. Benilde-La Salle Greenhills won’t have to go through the longer, harder path after the elimination round.

The Junior Blazers bagged the first of two twice-to-beat advantages for the oncoming Final Four after warding off determined Lyceum of the Philippines University, 80-75, on Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The defending champions were in control for majority of the matchup, but still saw the Junior Pirates threatening at 75-77 with 16.5 ticks to go on the clock.

RC Calimag was then sent to the line and scored a split for CSB-LSGH before their opponents brought the ball up quickly and found John Barba for a triple try.

Joshua David was right there to challenge him, however, and the shot bounced off the back of the rim.

Seconds later, Joel Cagulangan made good on two free throws to seal the deal in the Junior Blazers’ 14th win in 16 games.

With that, they will be in the polar opposite of the position they found themselves in their championship run a season ago when they had to win a knockout bout against San Sebastian College-Recoletos for the fourth-seed, win two games against the twice-to-beat top-seed San Beda High School, and then best then champion Mapua High School in three games in the Finals.

“This is an unfamiliar situation for us,” head coach Marvin Bienvenida said. “We have a little success from this, we just have to handle that success.”

Still, the defending champions are nothing but determined to make sure that the twice-to-beat advantage doesn’t have to come into play whoever they face. “Not really. We’ll treat it as a knockout game, that first game in the Final Four,” he said.

Along with his usual standout defense, David was the top-scorer for his team with 20 points while Cagulangan contributed 13 markers, six assists, and six rebounds. Inand Fornilos also added another double-double of 12 points and 13 boards.

Mac Guadana fronted the effort for LPU with 20 points and six rebounds while John Barba had his own 19-point, 11-rebound double-double. Now at 9-8, however, they need to win their last assignment and are hoping for fourth-running Jose Rizal High School to lose its last two games to have a chance at the next round.

BOX SCORES

CSB-LSGH 80 – David 20, Cagulangan 13, Fornilos 12, Calimag 12, Lepalam 9, Palencia 6, Mosqueda 5, Lao 3, Morales 0, Sangco 0, Cortez 0

LPU 75 – Guadana 20, Barba 19, Jugar 10, Omandac 9, Tulabut 7, Dejelo 3, De Leon 2, De Guia 2, Gudmalin 2, Caringal 1, Nocal 0

QUARTER SCORES: 17-16, 43-26, 62-54, 80-75

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