VisMinda/Hi-Five took the long route to the finals of the U14 division of the 2012 UFO Docomo Pacific Cup after outclassing MDX/Armatech in overtime, 65-63, during their semis game last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
It was a come-from-behind win and a first for the season for VisMinda as it trailed by as much as 18 points in the third period of the playoff game and dropped its first two meetings against MDX. With the upset, VisMinda earned the right to face the favored DYS/SMF in the winner-take-all finals this Sunday at 12pm.
MDX seemed headed for a finals date against DYS when it led, 40-22, at the end of the third period. However, VisMinda spoiled MDX's party when it climbed its way back into the game behind the 13 points of Jethro Cruz, who was held to only one field goal in the first three quarters before exploding in the final canto.
Cruz nailed a crucial triple in the homestretch, while Elnathan Wong split his free throws to force a deadlock at the end of the regulation, 51-51, and extend the game to five more minutes.
VisMinda, which scored no more than 8 points in each of the first three quarters, allowing MDX to take control of the match, went all out in the fourth period, outgunning the latter, 29-11. Wong, Francisco, Loewell Cristobal, and Champ Sabangan provided enough support to Cruz in the fourth-quarter rally, while only Dickey Feria logged more than one field goal for MDX, which had only three field goals in the finalcanto collapse.
Then in overtime, Wong and Francisco combined for 10 of VisMinda's 14 points to steal the win and the second finals ticket. Cruz and Hay Mercene nailed the two other VisMinda baskets in the extension.
Only Art Borromeo and Melvin Deocares drained field goals for MDX in the extra five minutes, as it clearly missed the services of Feria, who fouled out midway in overtime. Feria left the game after posting a game-high 19 points.
Cruz top-scored for VisMinda with 17, while Wong and Francisco also finished in double digits with 13 and 11, respectively.
VisMinda/Hi-Five 65 - Cruz 17, Wong 13, Francisco 11, Cristobal 7, Aresaga 6, Lucido 4, Sabangan 2.
MDX/Armatech 63 - Feria 19, Borromeo 12, Deocares 11, Francisco 11, Cudua 3, Cudia 3, Leyco 2.
Scoring by quarters: 6-8, 14-19, 22-40, 51-51, 65-63.