SAN JUAN, Ilocos Sur — National Capital Region defeated Calabarzon, 91-81, on Friday morning to clinch a spot in the championship game of the 2018 Palarong Pambansa secondary basketball tournament.
Gilas Pilipinas cadet Carl Tamayo erupted for 24 points for NCR, including six points in an 8-0 run in the third quarter that opened a 50-38 lead for the Big City boys.
NCR, made up of players from the National University Bullpups, now awaits the winner of the other semifinal match between Western Visayas and Davao Region ahead of the final on Saturday morning, also at the San Juan covered court.
NCR coach Goldwin Monteverde said he was happy to see the team overcome a flat start against a Calabarzon team represented by multi-titled NCAA side San Beda.
“Medyo hindi masyadong maganda depensa namin nung first quarter,” Monteverde said. “Maganda ‘yung naging laro ni Tamayo sa inside game niya kanina.”
Monteverde is bracing for a tough final, regardless of which team they meet.
“Sa Western Visayas, nandiyan ‘yung (Mark) Nonoy. Sa Davao, nakikita ko magaling sila dumepensa,” said Monteverde.