As expected the best from the UAAP and NCAA will fight it out for the 8th PSSBC-Freego Cup championship after beating their semis rivals with surprisingly ease Wednesday at the SGS Stadium in Quezon City.
The National University Bullpups, the reigning UAAP champions, got a double-double performance from Batang Gilas veteran Carl Tamayo and ripped the Ateneo Eaglets, 93-66, to move within a win from becoming the first school to win back-to-back titles in the event dubbed as Tournament of Champions.
The San Beda Red Cubs, on the other hand, showed why they were able to regain their NCAA crown by crushing the Far Eastern University Baby Tamaraws, 103-76, in a win that likewise pushed them within a victory of becoming their first three-time winner of the event presented by Freego.
The face-off is set at 2:45 p.m. on Thursday with the winner earning the top prize of P50,000 in the event also sponsored by Happy Toothpaste, Poly-Gloss, IronCon Builders, Macbeth Underwear, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, MEC Networks and Blackwater Sports.
“Expect early fireworks because these teams have statements to make and a tradition to protect,” said PSSBC chairman and Freego big boss Eduard Tio. “You’re going to love this game.”
Imposing his will inside, Tamayo produced 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field apart from grabbing 10 boards in just 16 minutes of play as the Bullpups roared to a commanding 55-29 halftime advantage.
That was enough to disarm the Eaglets who finished with a paltry 25-of-78 shooting for 32 percent – no thanks to NU’s rock-solid defense.
The Red Cubs, meantime, came through with a huge second-quarter attack that saw them outscore the Baby Tamaraws, 35-18, to pull away for good.
Justine Sanchez played for a little over 16 minutes off the bench but he still topscored for the Manu Iñigo-mentored SBU with 24 points on a perfect 8-of-8 shooting from the field, including two from the 3-point zone.
He was ably supported by former NU star Rhayyan Amsali who contributed 15 points and six boards in the event also backed by Molten, Gerry’s Grill, Cherrylume, Sumo GI Sheet and Choi Garden.