MUNTINLUPA and Bulacan clinched respective twice-to-beat advantages in the quarterfinal round after beating separate rivals in the Chooks-to-Go NBL Chairman’s Cup 2021 at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center this weekend.
Jed Mendoza erupted for 32 points to lift the Water Warriors to a 112-104 win over Quezon on Sunday to take the third seed in the quarterfinal round.
Earnest Reyes had 28 points and 11 rebounds as the Republicans defeated Laguna in overtime, 117-108, to clinch the No. 4 spot at the end of the elimination round.
Aside from the top two teams securing an outright semifinal spot, the third and fourth placed clubs will have a twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinal round.
Mendoza started a 14-0 finish for Muntinlupa after trailing, 104-98, with four minutes left in the match. He also buried a crucial triple with 1:09 left to grab a four-point lead, 108-104.
It was Mendoza’s last game with the Water Warriors this season as he is set to play for Purefoods in the PBA 3x3.
Reyes, meanwhile, sent the game into overtime with a running shot after Bulacan lost a lead that reached as high as 19 points.
Ryan Operio added 20 points including a back-to-back baskets that increased the Republicans’ lead to 110-102.
The loss eliminated Quezon from the quarterfinals. The Barons are tied with Paranaque at the end of the eliminations with a 5-5 record but the Aces took the sixth seed due to the winner-over-the-other rule.
Topeng Lagrama had 27 points, and converted a triple to take a 104-98 lead, but that was the last time the Barons scored in the game. The Barons lost four straight games at the end of the eliminations.
The Pistons finished the elimination round with a 4-6 win-loss record.