Arellano Braves erase 17-point deficit to force Final Four rubber match vs San Beda Red Cubs
Jayson Danas contributed 10 markers as Arellano stormed back from 17 points down to force a rubber match vs San Beda. Freddie Dionisio

ARELLANO lived to fight another day as the fourth-seed Braves defeated San Beda, 89-84, on Friday in the NCAA Season 92 juniors basketball semifinals at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Lars Sunga finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Guilmer Dela Torre added 15 points and seven rebounds as the Braves stormed back from a deficit as high as 17 points to stave off elimination.

The Braves, who took the fourth spot with a 13-5 win-loss slate, can advance to the finals with a win in Tuesday’s rubber match at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Red Cubs, seeking for their eighth straight NCAA juniors crown, were already leading by 12 at halftime, 49-37, only to lose once again to the Braves for the second time in three matches this season.

Aaron Fermin had 15 points, 13 rebounds, and four blocks for the Braves, who also got 14 points and 11 rebounds from Carlo Abadeza. Jayson Danas added 10 markers for Arellano.

“Actually, nung pumunta kami dito, ‘yun na ‘yung iniisip namin. Puwedeng last game na namin. ‘Yun ‘yung motivation namin,” said Abadeza.

Sam Abu Hijle had 15 points, 25 rebounds, and two blocks for the Red Cubs, who finished the elimination round in first place with a 17-1 win-loss record.

The scores:

Arellano (89)—Sunga 16, Dela Torre 15, Fermin 15, Abadeza 14, Danas 10, Batilier 7, Espiritu 5, Tamayo 3, Domingo 2, Dulatre 1, Velasco 1, Fornis 0, De Leon 0, Camarillo 0, Dimaunahan 0.

San Beda (84)—Abu Hijle 15, Etrata 15, Nayve 15, Tagala 8, Mahinay 8, Nelle 6, Dela Rosa 6, Obenza 5, Alfaro 2, Lagumen 2, Garcia 2, Barbero 0.

Quarters: 18-25, 37-49, 60-64, 89-84.

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