Ateneo withstood Diliman Preparatory School’s spirited challenge and pulled off a 71-64 win in their playoff match to arrange a semis meeting with National University in the SMART-PCABL 3rd Invitational Cup 2016 at the Buddhacare gym in Quezon City.
SJ Belangel and Dave Ildefonso led Ateneo to the vengeful win, scoring 17 and 15 points, respectively, as the Eaglets gained a chance to get back at the NU Bulldogs who dethroned them in the UAAP early this year.
The Bulldogs, who finished the elims at No. 2, outclassed the University of the East Junior Warriors, 96-42, in the other quarterfinal match.
The other semis match pits No. 1 seed Chiang Kai Shek College against La Salle Zobel, which beat University of the Philippines Integrated School, 90-85, for the No. 4 spot in the tournament presented by Smart through Sports Marketing’s Epok Quimpo and supported by CW Home Depot, Power House, Insular Square (Cebu), Advanced Solutions, Inc., New Pioneer Auto Supply and Hapee Toothpaste.
The Blue Dragons gained outright semis berth by topping the elims.
Martin Romero led La Salle-Zobel with 24 points but needs more help from his teammates if they are to beat the Blue Dragons, who are preparing for the Philippine Secondary Schools Basketball Championship slated this December.
DPS forced a playoff by beating twice-to-beat Ateneo last Saturday.