IT’S going to be a Manila versus Cebu showdown for the 2015 National Basketball Training Center (NBTC) League championship.
San Beda-A and Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu arranged a title showdown between two of the country’s top basketball regions after topping their respective groups in the semifinals played Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Red Cubs, six-time NCAA champions, reached the finals after beating UAAP runner-up National University, 79-73, to complete a sweep of the round-robin semifinals.
The Magis Eagles, for their part, trounced San Beda-B, 76-51, in their first match, enough to send the Cebu-based squad to the title game.
Marc Diputado had 17 points while Andrei Caracut added 16 for the Red Cubs against the Bullpups as the team emerged unscathed in the semifinals.
Earlier, San Beda-A beat Lyceum-Cavite, 90-73, with Nico Abatayo topscoring for the Red Cubs with 15 points.
Joseph Daniel Mayol and Piero Longa had 16 points each, both on 4-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc, as the Magis Eagles trounced San Beda’s Team B during the morning game.
Although they lost to last year’s champion Chiang Kai Shek College, 101-99, in their second match for the day, the Magis Eagles still advance to the finals after the Blue Dragons failed to meet the required winning margin of 14 points or more.
The Blue Dragons were dethroned as they lost to San Beda-B, 75-76, in the morning matches.
They eventually found themselves in a three-way tie with NU and San Beda-B at 1-1, but failed to make the finals due to an inferior quotient.
“Gusto rin naming manalo against Manila teams. Kasi ‘yun ‘yung dream ng mga bata. We have to compete against the Manila teams,” said Sacred Heart assistant coach Francis Auquico.
The Bullpups were able to cut the deficit to as low as four points, 68-64, in the payoff period but Caracut hit crucial baskets down the stretch to keep the opposition at bay.
“Lagi namin sila nakakalaban from Filoil to Fr. Martin. Dikit lagi. Alam ko rin na magiging matindi ang laro nila,” said San Beda coach JB Sison.