SAN Sebastian delivered the knockout late in the third quarter before cruising to a comfortable 85-73 win over third seed Jose Rizal University to stay alive in the NCAA Season 93 stepladder semifinals on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Stags now move a win away from a return trip to the championship as it takes on old rival San Beda on November 7 in a knockout game for the right to face Lyceum in a best-of-three finals affair.
Leading by just two early in the third, the Stags played like true giant slayers as they ended the period on a 28-4 tear to take a 71-45 lead entering the fourth period.
Michael Calisaan, Allyn Bulanadi and Alfren Gayosa took turns in blasting the Heavy Bombers in that rally as the trio picked up where RK Ilagan left off in the second quarter.
Ilagan sparked the Stags’ hot shooting, firing in all five of his three pointers in the first half to set the tone for the Stags’ third quarter breakaway.
The Heavy Bombers tried to make a game out of it in the final quarter but the lead proved to be too much to overcome as the closest they can get to was 10 points.
“Sa dugout nung halftime, pinagusapan namin na we had to stop the momentum of JRU. We had to push them sa pressure at tinuloy tuloy lang namin. Kasi kung magse-set kami ng defense, tatalunin talaga nila kami kasi malalaki sila,” said San Sebastian head coach Egay Macaraya.
“Dinadala na lang namin sa liksi, kasi Stags kami e. Sipag at hustle. That’s what happened in the third quarter,” he added.
Ilagan top scored for the Stags with 21 points, five rebounds and five assists as three other players breached double-digits for the Stags.
Coming off a 36-point performance, Calisaan finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Bulanadi added 13 points, six boards, two steals and two blocks as Jayson David finished with 10 points, seven boards, three assists and two steals.
Jed Mendoza paced the Heavy Bombers with 20 points, five assists and four steals. Tey Teodoro had 12 points.
SAN SEBASTIAN 85 – Ilagan 21, Calisaan 13, Bulanadi 13, David 10, Calma 9, Gayosa 7, Costelo 5, Navarro 3, Baetiong 2, Mercado 2, Capobres 0, Valdez 0
JRU 73 – Mendoza 20, Teodoro 12, Dela Virgen 11, Grospe 11, Poutouochi 8, Abdul Razak 6, Sawat 3, Lasquety 2, Bordon 0
QUARTERSCORES: 12-15, 41-34, 71-45, 85-73