DEFENDING champion Technological Institute of the Philippines defeated Feati, 67-63, on Tuesday to forge a duel with La Consolacion College-Manila for the last finals berth in the 4th Interscholastic Athletic Association at the Lyceum gym in Intramuros.
Former PBA D-League cager Jemuel Namocatcat scored 19 points, Sean Paulo had 10, while Kim Medina scored six of his eight points in the payoff period to help the Engineers reach the final stage of the stepladder phase.
LCCM and TIP meet at 9 a.m. on Thursday at the Rizal Coliseum with the former enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage. Both teams met in last year’s Finals with the Engineers winning via a sweep.
Awaiting the winner in the finals of the tournament backed by Molten and Mikasa of Sonia Trading, Globe, and Abot Kaya Pinoy is newcomer Philippine Merchant Marine School, which topped the classification round with a perfect 6-0 slate.
TIP held a slim 33-32 lead at the half before Namocatcat and Paulo combined in a stirring third-quarter run that enabled the Engineers to build a 52-38 edge.
But Feati rallied in the fourth, closing the gap to within three on three separate occasions. However, turnovers and missed freethrows in the final three minutes sealed the Seahawks’ doom.
AJ Santos scored 20 points for Feati in a losing effort.