DCCA dropped an 18-7 bomb to pull away from a still manageable 21-15 lead early in the second period and erect a 39-22 spread with 3:11 to go in the quarter. DCCA entered the break enjoying a 45-31 advantage.
Then just when everyone thought DCCA would easily break away in the third, CUC prove them wrong and outscored their opponents, 21-12, to move within five, 57-52, entering the final canto.
However, Perry Inos and the rest of DCCA traded baskets with CUC in the fourth period to foil the latter’s comeback bid and earn the right of facing Commonwealth Health Center in another playoff match in the double-elimination tournament last Friday.
Results of Friday’s matches between DCCA and CUC, and Customs and DPS were unavailable at press time, as organizers have yet to release copies of the score sheets.
Inos finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals, an assist, and a block, while Ed Pangelinan added 20 markers and 3 steals. Tim Wesley had an all-around game of 12 points, 12 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists, and 2 blocks.
John Santos paced CUC’s losing cause with 27 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, and 5 steals, while Tony Diaz chipped in 18 markers, 5 boards, and 2 steals. James Benavente scattered 15 points to go with 5 caroms and 2 steals.
Earlier, Northern Marianas Sports Association pulled off a 64-48 decision over Department of Public Safety. NMSA will face top seed Feds at 6pm tonight at the Ada gym for the first finals berth.
Peter Camacho finished with a game-high 21 points and added 7 rebounds for NMSA. Veteran playmaker and coach Elias Rangamar provided support with 12 markers, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals. Ezra Caro scored 8 and collected 9 boards.
Edwin Camacho was the lone DPS player to reach double digits with 11.
NMSA 64–P. Camacho 21, Rangamar 12, Caro 8, Sablan 7, Babauta 6, Basa 6, Fitial 2, Winkfield 2.
DPS 48–Camacho 11, Sablan 6, Joab 5, S. Pua 5, Iginoef 4, M. Saures 4, George 3, J. Pua 3, Rabauliman 3, Kaipat 2, J. Saures 2.
Scoring by quarters: 17-11, 32-24, 45-37, 64-48.
DCCA 78–Inos 30, Pangelinan 20, Wesley 12, Manabat 8, Ito 4, Aaron 2, R. Deleon Guerrero Jr. 2.
CUC 74–Santos 27, Diaz 18, Benavente 15, Lieto 5, Seider 5, Iramk 2, Poquiz 2.
Scoring by quarters: 19-13, 45-31, 57-52, 78-74. (Jon Perez)