The 670 Sonics XVI survived the NSA Warriors 1’s second-half rally to escape with a 50-47 win in the first playoff game in the boys U18 division of the 2018 Frank M. Diaz Memorial Youth League last Saturday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
670 Sonics XVI, which led by as much as 16 points in the first half, got timely baskets from Ronald Bernardo and Robi Magat and extra possessions down the stretch to pull off the close victory and earn the first semis seat in the competition. NSA Warriors 1’s, which committed costly turnovers and muffed a couple of shots in the end, bowed out of contest.
The Warriors 1 threatened to steal the win from the 670 Sonics XVI after playing catch up majority of the game when it tied the match, 47-all, 2:10 remaining on the clock. J.D. Magofna drilled the equalizer to complete a 14-1 run and the Warriors 1 had a chance to grab the driver’s seat when Ronald Bernardo only split his charities on the other end, giving the 670 Sonics XVI a shaky 48-47 lead.
However, Henry Aguon missed on a scooped shot, while Aldraine Galang collared the rebound and spotted John Mendoza sprinting to their frontcourt. Mendoza overshot his mark, but stayed in the play, battling a Warriors 1 defender and Magat for the loose ball. Magat won the scramble, attempted a point-blanked shot, and made the basket for their 50-47 lead. Magat was also fouled, but failed to complete the and-1 play.
Down by three, with a little over a minute left, Aguon decided to take matters into his own hands when he pulled up for a triple, but he missed. Joshua Chavez then got the rebound and drew a foul on Magofna.
Chavez went 0-for-2 from the line, keeping the Warriors 1’s hopes alive. However, after Chavez’s second missed charity, Vince Igitol lost the ball as he dribbled following a rebound play and it hit his right foot before rolling down the sideline in front of the 670 Sonics XVI bench.
The 670 Sonics XVI regained possession and Chavez found himself on the 15-foot line again when he was fouled underneath the basket. The burly forward faltered on both attempts anew, but fortunately Galang got the offensive board and dribbled out of the shaded lane. With the clock ticking, Magofna opted not to foul Galang, who eventually lost possession at the corner baseline with only a second left on the clock, which was not enough for the Warriors 1 to attempt a decent shot, as it had to do the inbound from the backcourt.
With the victory, the 670 Sonics XVI arranged a semis duel against No. 1 seed and pennant champion Ol’Aces Real Deal, which eased past the 670 Sonics XVII, 100-37, in the other playoff match last Saturday.
It was all over, but the final scores for the heavily favored Ol’Aces Real Deal, as it was way ahead at halftime, 49-13.
The Ol’Aces Real Deal and 670 Sonics XVI will meet at 6:15 tonight for a slot to tomorrow’s finals.
Sonics XVI 50 — R. Bernardo 12, Contreras 12, B. Bernardo 6, Chavez 5, Lagmay 5, Magat 4, Galang 4, Mendoza 2.
NSA Warriors 1 47 — Aguon 17, Malwelbug 11, Lifoifoi 6, Sulap 5, Igitol 4, Omar 2, Magofna 2.
Scoring by quarters: 10-7, 31-15, 50-40-33, 50-47.
Ol’Aces Real Deal 100 — Santos 24, Abejo 21, Sacdalan 17, Blake 17, Peter 6, Kabiriel 5.
670 Sonics XVII 37 — Sabangan 9, Cadag 9, Bravo 7, Linaogo 4, Kim 4, Ben 4.
Scoring by quarters: 28-7, 49-13, 69-21, 100-37.