JOSHUA Fontanilla steered St. Clare College Virtual Reality to a historic semifinal stint in the 2019 PBA D-League as it turned back Metropac-San Beda, 65-60, Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The diminutive playmaker collected 12 points, five assists, five steals, and three rebounds to lead the Saints to their first-ever Final Four appearance in the developmental ranks.
"Ang sama ng laro namin, pero buti si Joshua nagstep up," said coach Jinino Manansala as the Aspirants Group no. 2 seed made the most of its twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Fontanilla denied the Movers' fightback from 13 points down in the fourth quarter that got to as close as two, 59-57, as he buried a short stab with 1:24 remaining, 61-57, before icing the game with four straight freebies in the final minute.
Ray Rubio contributed 11 points, four rebounds, and three assists, as Mohammad Pare dropped a double-double of 10 points, 10 boards, and two blocks for St. Clare.
It was a tough defeat for the Metropac-San Beda squad, which arrived just earlier in the day after the team's Las Vegas training.
Movers coach Boyet Fernandez will also miss the semis in the PBA D-League for the first time, winning eight titles in his nine Finals appearances.
James Canlas fired nine points in that fourth quarter fightback as he wound up with 14 points, five rebounds, five steals, and three assists for Metropac-San Beda.
Clint Doliguez added 13 points and seven boards, as Donald Tankoua had 12 and 12 in the defeat.
METROPAC-SAN BEDA 60 -- Canlas 14, Doliguez 13, Tankoua 12, Alfaro 7, Oftana 5, Penuela 3, Nelle 2, Soberano 2, Visser 2, Bahio 0, Etrata 0, Abuda 0, Cuntapay 0, Carino 0, Obenza 0.
Quarters: 10-10, 29-25, 51-38, 65-60.