PHILIPPINE Merchant Marine School banked on its timely triples to put away Rizal Technological University, 78-74, Saturday in their knockout encounter at the Olivarez College gymnasium in Sucat, Paranaque.
Sophomore Jake Yagonia unloaded two of his three three-pointers in the last five minutes, allowing the Mariners to advance to the second and last stage of the 21st National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) men’s basketball stepladder semifinal series.
The Mariners will next meet defending champion Olivarez College in the final semis phase on Monday at the EAC-Manila gymnasium in Paco, Manila.
Earlier, Jinnelle Ponce and Marjorie Borres delivered 33 and 27 points, respectively, for Emilio Aguinaldo College-Cavite, which blasted PMMS, 97-51, in the first stage of the women’s semifinals series.
The 5-foot-11 Yagonia had 14 points, including a trey with 4:54 left off a pass by Robin Villamayor, shattering the game’s last deadlock, 61-all, and giving the Mariners the lead for good, 64-61.
Elvin Chan scored a jumper in the last 4:11 following a turnover by the Thunders and PMMS stormed to a safer five-point lead, 66-61, in the ensuing play.
Yagonia hit his second three-pointer to cap another PMMS run as the Mariners grabbed a 76-66 spread in the last 1:10 en route to the win.
“In the end, it was Yagonia’s triple and Sonny Trinidad’s defense which pushed us. Doon kami lumayo. It’s not over yet. We still have another tough semis game ahead of us,” said Mariners’ coach Aldrin Morante.
Dan Reverente led the Mariners with 24 points, while Trinidad chipped in 11. Sandy Cenal made 16 points for RTU, while Rennel Montecillo had 14.