PHILIPPINE Merchant Marine School played a steadier game in the end, turning back defending champion Olivarez College, 88-83, in overtime Wednesday in their semifinal rubber match at the San Andres gym in Manila.
With Dan Reverente and Sonny Trinidad scoring crucial baskets in the closing minutes, the Mariners went on to advance to the best-of-three finals against the waiting St. Clare Saints in the 21st National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) men’s basketball tournament.
Reverente, who led with 18 points, scored on a drive with 1:11 left, allowing the Mariners to gain an 84-80 cushion.
The Sea Lions had chances to catch up, but their gamble with their three-point shooting didn’t pay off.
As Mark Guillen and Eldridge Corpuz bungled their treys, Trinidad found his range in the next instance, driving in for a layup with 35.7 seconds remaining and extending the Mariners’ advantage to six, 86-80, with 35.7 ticks left.
“Crucial 'yung mga tira na iyon. Buti na lang at na-convert,” said Mariners' coach Aldrin Morante.
The Mariners will meet the unbeaten St. Clare Saints at the start of their best-of-three finals series on Monday at the Olivarez College gymnasium in Sucat, Paranaque.
The Sea Lions, who fought back from nine points down in the third, overtook the Mariners, 74-72, on Corpuz’s driving shot following an assist by a double-teamed Jay Alquisalas in the last 1:48 of regulation.
Two charities from Robin Villamayor in the last 1:26 sent the match into overtime at 74-all.
The Mariners could have won in the next play, but Reverente’s trey was too short.
PMMS (88) -- Chan 20, Reverente 18, Yagonia 15, Villamayor 11, Trinidad 8, Manlutac 7, Debulcos 4, Montojo 4.
Olivarez College (83) -- Alquisalas 22, Jasmin 15, Masso 15, Corpuz 14, Guillen 9, Sackor 5, Mancio 5, Singh 4, Bustos 4.
Quarterscores: 22-6; 43-30; 63-54; 74-all (reg); 88-83.