NCR endures Carl Tamayo ejection to frustrate Central Luzon, reach Palaro quarters
Terrence Fortea saved the day for NCR in the Palarong Pambansa. Marlo Cueto

SAN JUAN, Ilocos Sur — National Capital Region ran away with a 94-76 win over Central Luzon on Tuesday to clinch a quarterfinal berth in the 2018 Palarong Pambansa secondary boys basketball tournament at the San Juan covered court.

Batang Gilas mainstay Terrence Fortea had 23 points for NCR, which battled back from 13 points down and endured the ejection of big man Carl Tamayo to improve to 2-0 (win-loss), guaranteeing its place in the quarterfinals.

The 6-7 Tamayo, a member of the Gilas pool for the 2023 Fiba World Cup, was sent off after committing his second unsportsmanlike foul in the third quarter in a rebound battle against Vince Icban.

The ejection only lit a fire in the belly of the Big City boys, who, after trailing, 28-41, turned it around to lead, 57-51, after a run of seven straight points.

“Nanibago sila sa physicality ng game. Nawala sila sa composure pero buti na lang, naka-recover,” said NCR coach Goldwin Monteverde.

Monteverde said the win will be a big boost in confidence for NCR.

“‘Yung team ng NCR, although malalaki pero halos lahat bata. Majority ng team were born 2001,” said Monteverde.

In other matches, Mimaropa beat Zamboanga, 67-62, while Northern Mindanao beat Bicol Region, 64-56.

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