Defending champion West Negros University proved streaked past Living Heritage Christian Academy, 83-71, to claim the top spot in Bracket A of the SeaOil-NBTC Bacolod eliminations at the WNU gym, Saturday, a press release from the organizers said.
With the win, the Junior Mustangs will most likely meet University of St. La Salle in the crossover semifinal on January 25, the press release said.
LHCA, still with a game left against St. John's Institute-B on January 28, is poised to face number one Bacolod Tay Tung High School in Bracket B in the other semifinal match-up, the press release also said.
In other games Saturday, University of Negros Occidental - Recoletos humbled Mansilingan Christian Academy, 77-63, while Trinity Christian School dumped SJI-B, 71-45, in no-bearing games.
In beating LHCA, WNU coach Dennis Tumayan employed a trapping full court press that allowed his wards to score 24 and 23 points in two quarters as LHCA was limited to 13 and 17 in the first half, the press release said.
The Taculing-based squad woke up in the third quarter and rallied with a 26-10 surge to trail 56-57 at the start of the final canto.
Capitalizing on individual plays of LHCA, the defending champions however, steadily hit after every turnover to finish with a 26-15 spurt.
The trio of Celis, Maratas and Pido combined for 48 points to negate the 34-point output of Almodiel, Ayupan and Dimalanta as LHCA suffered its first defeat in four games, the press release added.*
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