Three teams completed the semis cast in the 2012 DLX/Gualo Rai Invitational Basketball League as after rain suspended games for about one week, action finally resumed at the Gualo Rai Court last Monday night.
KFC/Taco Bell, Gualo Rai, and Brgy. San Antonio notched the last three tickets to the Final Four and joined early semifinalist Zhaila's All-Starz after eliminating separate foes. The defending champion and Pool A fourth-ranked KFC stunned Pool B top finisher Anjie's Boys in the first game, 62-58; Gualo Rai resumed its rained-out match over Blue Haus and won in the second game, 71-62; and San Antonio whipped QQ Rent A Car in the closing tiff, 100-62.
The semis round is set for tonight with Zhaila's taking on Gualo Rai at 6pm and KFC meeting San Antonio in the second game at 8pm.
KFS kept its title defense hopes alive and ousted its top-ranked foe after launching a fourth-quarter rally.
The defending champion fell behind at the end of each of the first three quarters and faced a 37-43 deficit before saving its best for last in the pivotal fourth period. Norm Black sparked KFC's rally in the final canto, making their first three baskets, while Angelo Fernando finished the job, hitting three crucial free throws in the homestretch. KFC's winning margin of 4 points were courtesy of charities with Mico Francisco nailing the other shot from the stripe in the closing seconds of the game.
Fernando managed to score in twin digits with his 10 markers, drilling 5 of them in the final canto, while Black led KFC with his 14. Erick Dela Rosa added 12.
Eugene Manglona paced the eliminated Anjie's Boys with his 13, but was held to a free throw in the fourth frame.
In the second game, Gualo Rai picked up where it left off to continue its uphill climb in the league and move one win away from advancing to the finals.
Gualo Rai, which dropped three of its first 4 matches but went 3-for-4 in the second half of the regular season to save a playoff berth, was ahead of Blue Haus at the end of the third period, 59-47, when their Oct. 8 match was rained out. When the match resumed, Blue Haus was contended on trading baskets with Gualo Rai in the fourth canto, allowing the latter to keep the lead and the win.
Jun Estolas top-scored for Gualo Rai with his 26, while big men Alex Lauron and Zack Diaz chipped in 12 and 11, respectively.
In the last match of the night, San Antonio had a jackrabbit start and survived QQ's late rally in the opening canto before completely dominating the game in the last three quarters.
The young crew of San Antonio opened a 19-4 advantage in the first period before Marlon Sison anchored a QQ comeback and cut the lead to 8, 17-25.
However, that was the closest that QQ could get, as San Antonio pushed up the tempo of the game in the second canto and played no let up in the second half en route to the whopping 38-point winning margin.
Nine of San Antonio's 10 players scored at least 7 points each, giving QQ no chance to pull off the second upset of the night. Jaymark De Guzman paced San Antonio with his 20 points, while Nevin Salem contributed 16. Only Sison had twin digits for QQ with his 17.
KFC 62 - Black 14, Dela Rosa 12, Fernando 10, R. Fracisco 9, Factor 7, M. Francisco 7, Maranan 3, Tinio 2.
Anjie's Boys 58 - Manglona 13, E. Caro 11, Javier 10, Mettao 9, Mamaril 6, Tudela 4, T. Caro 3.
Scoring by quarters: 14-18, 25-29, 37-43, 62-58.
Gualo Rai 71 - Estolas 26, Lauron 12, Diaz 11, Dayrit 6, Babauta 6, Galzote 4, Jose 2, Llagado 2.
Blue Haus 62 - Ogumoro 16, Fernandez 10, Itaas 8, Aquino 8, Galulu 7, Olivos 4, Capalad 2, Camacho 2.
Scoring by quarters: 16-19, 38-33, 59-47, 71-62.
Brgy. San Antonio 100 - De Guzman 20, Ne. Salem 16, Alegre 10, Ni. Salem 9, Aranda 9, Cadiang 8, Villanueva 8, Palacios 7, Bicera 2.
QQ Rent A Car 62 - Sison 17, Bondoc 9, Mangali 8, Concepcion 8, Montes 8, Lansang 8, Deleon Guerrero 2, Tuwon 2.
Scoring by quarters: 25-17, 54-35, 78-45, 100-62.