Mawati and Sister Market clinched the last two semis tickets in the 2013 DL Corp. Invitational Basketball League after prevailing in their separate playoff matches last Monday at the Gualo Rai Basketball Court.
Sister Market bagged the third semis berth after surviving a fight-marred quarterfinal game versus Maplas, 81-72, while Mawati took the fourth and final seat, following a 72-63 victory over Fong’s Fliptop to join Adobo and RadioCom to the next round. Sister Market meets Adobo in tonight’s first Final Four match, while Mawati faces RadioCom in the second tiff.
Mawati caught the last bus to the semifinals after getting a few breaks in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter to halt Fong’s Fliptop’s last rally. Fliptop moved within one, 55-56, after trailing by as much as 8 points early in the fourth, 46-54. Fliptop got points from all its starters in the fourth canto to threaten Mawati.
However, Mawati made it a 2-point game after Jason Bahillo split his technical free throws in the ensuing play. Mawati was awarded two charities off a technical foul on Chris Esteves, who argued to the referee, saying he did not touch the leather last and Bryan Ajoste’s foot was on the line as they battled for the ball at the baseline.
The lead then went up to 5, 60-55, as Mawati regained possession after a Fliptop miss and Francis Serrano converted a corner triple. Mawati went ahead further, 62-55, entering the final two minutes after Webb Guntar won a mad scramble for the ball and nailed a layup. Mawati kept its safe distance as it answered every shot from Fliptop in the closing minutes of the elimination match.
Jerome Reyes top-scored for Mawati with his 16 points, while Serrano and Ajoste chipped in 15 and 13, respectively. Chris Mizer led Fliptop, drilling 21 markers.
In the first game, Sister Market lost two key players, but managed to beat Maplas in an intense game.
Sister Market was without White Capalad and Syl Teregeyo midway in the first half and in the entire second half, forcing Jun Tabora and Cesar Bisana to step up. Capalad and Teregeyo was thrown out of the court and eventually banned from the league after a bench clearing incident in the second quarter. According to game officials, the incident started when Capalad while playing defense punched Maplas’ Dennis Morales and soon players from both camps were all over the court. Some tried to pacify their teammates, while others exchanged heated words and challenged their foes to a fight. League official then managed to break the opposing camps and later also disqualified Morales and his teammates Ralph Surla and Emerson Claveria from the game. Morales was issued two technical fouls for second motion, while Surla and Claveria were ejected for coming off the bench and joining the squabble.
The emotion-filled first half went on to end in a standoff, 36-36, and remained tight in the third with Sister Market ahead by only a point, 56-55, before Bisana and Tabora gave their team more cushion and Ferdie Tobias also helped out en route to the 9-point win. Tabora drilled 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, while Bisana, who had 8 markers in the third, added 6 in the fourth. Tobias, who was scoreless in the first three cantos, canned back-to-back triples in the fourth frame.
Sister Market 81 – Tabora 25, Bisana 14, Jugos 8, Capalad 7, Norita 7, Santos 4, Teregeyo 3, Barrozo 2.
Maplas 72 – Mateo 16, R. Usi 14, Mendoza 12, Ocampo 8, M. Usi 5, Odicta 2, Aniciete 2.
Scoring by quarters: 17-12, 36-36, 56-55, 81-72.
Mawati 72 – Reyes 16, Serrano 15, Ajoste 13, Bahillo 9, Guntar 7, Bautista 6, Samson 2.
Fong’s Fliptop 63 – Mizer 21, De Leon 12, Esteves 8, Feria 7, Namelo 7, Fleming 3.
Scoring by quarters: 11-15, 27-27, 46-43, 72-63.