COLEGIO de San Lorenzo turned to veteran Jon Gabriel at crunch time to bring down Philippine Christian University, 84-81, in their knockout game and advance to the finals of the Naascu Season 17 basketball tournament at the AMA University gym in Quezon City.
Gabriel scored seven of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, including a three-point play off a foul by Christopher Okoronkwo with 19 seconds left, as the Griffins salvaged the win.
CdSL set up a best-of-three semifinal showdown against Group A topnotcher and defending champion St. Clare College-Caloocan starting on Wednesday.
De Ocampo Memorial College plays St. Francis of Assisi College in the other semifinal.
Gabriel's three-point play off Okoronkwo's foul gave the Ironcon Builders-backed Griffins an 83-81 lead with 19 seconds left.
Von Tambeling and Michael Ayonayon then missed consecutive game-winning shots before Argie Baldevia finalized the score with a split from the free throw line.
"It was team effort but I have to give credit to Gabriel. He carried us in the end," said CdSL coach Boni Garcia.
"The players kept their poise even after (Soulemane) Chabi Yo went out with injury," added Garcia.
James Alvarado topscored for CdSL with 17 points on 5 of 5 shooting, while Jan Formento added 15 points, including four of the Griffins' seven three-pointers.
Gabriel had 13 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in 26 minutes.
CdSL import Chabi Yo finished with seven points and five rebounds, playing less than 11 due to ankle injury in the second period.
Yves Sason had 24 points, including five triples, for PCU, which outscored CdSL, 20-5, to erase a 10-point fourth quarter deficit, 58-68, and take the lead, 78-73, with 2:47 left.
Sazon scored 10 points in PCU's 12-0 run at the start of the fourth period for a 70-68 advantage.
Ayonayon added 16 points, Chester Saldua had 15 points and seven rebounds and Tambeling had 14 points for the Dolphins.
CDSL 84 - Alvarado 17, Formento 15, Gabriel 13, Baldevia 9, Sablan 8, Yo 7, Rojas 6, Ancheta 4, Callano 3, Vargas 2, Laman 0.
PCU 81 - Sason 24, Ayonayon 16, Saldua 15, Tambeling 14, Okoronkwo 6, Mescallado 4, Palattao 2, Castro 0, Malto 0.
Quarterscores: 23-19; 48-37; 68-58; 84-81.