A VENGEFUL Sta. Lucia Realty came out smoking on Tuesday night as it blasted Cagayan Valley, 84-56, to barge its way to the semifinals of the PCBL Founders Cup at the JCSGO Gym.
The Realtors were inspired from the get-go, donning red shirts printed with BME 19 at shootaround to honor their long-time team manager Buddy Encarnado with a trip to the semifinals in their return to the local basketball circuit.
Sta. Lucia played with guns blazing early, scoring 25 while holding their rivals to only eight points in the second period to take a comfortable 45-19 at the break and continued the romp in the second half.
The Realtors forged a best-of-three series with Jumbo Plastic starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday. Caida Tiles and Euro-Med square off at 4 p.m.
Unlike their first meeting in the quarterfinal round where the Rising Suns’ frontcourt dominated the Realtors, coach Bonnie Garcia's troop bounced back strong, thanks to a good defensive game plan Tuesday.
The Realtors held the Rising Suns below 30-percent shooting from the field while they sizzled from deep, hitting 40-percent of their treys(8-of-20) and finishing the game with a steady 47.62 percent shooting clip (30-of-63)
Jett Vidal, the former Perpetual Help star, led the way for Sta. Lucia with 15 points built around four triples. Big men Jun Gabriel and Wowie Escosio each tallied 12 markers and held their own against their frontline counterparts in the tournament supported by Accel, Ambucore, Spalding, and Aquabest
Gabriel was also a solid presence on the defensive end, blocking four shots.
Sta. Lucia 84 – Vidal 15, Escosio 12, Gabriel 12, Montilla 8, Castanarez 6, Bautista 6, Ablaza 5, Salado 5, Wetherell 4, Ilagan 4, Celiz 4, Onwubere 2, Sarangay 1, Camasura 0, Nicholls 0.
Cagayan Valley 56 – Acidre 12, Siruma 10, Arce 9, Bangga 6, Isit 5, Flores 4, Caranguian 3, Managuelod 3, Salcedo 2, Macasling 2, Doligon 0, Brana 0, Elmejrab 0.
Quartercores: 20-11; 45-19; 65-33; 84-56.