MARIKINA CITY – Euro-Med Laboratories claimed the fourth and final semifinal berth in the 2016 Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) Chairman’s Cup Wednesday evening (May 11) after a 68-52 pounding of Foton Toplander. The best-of-three series ended, 2-1, with Euro-Med also grabbing the series opener.
After getting burned for an all-time PCBL high 36 points by Levi Hernandez in their 76-79 overtime loss in Game Two, Euro-Med Coach Yong Garcia made the adjustment and assigned the taller Jeffrey Tajonera to guard Hernandez. While Hernandez still sizzled, the team defense managed to limit the rest of the Foton quintet as Euro-Med began to slowly pull away in the second half.
Foton was limited to only seven markers in the third period and it spelled their doom. Euro-Med now led by twin digits entering the fourth, 45-35.
By then, scrub time came a bit early and Coach Garcia gave more time to his role players. The Euro-Med bench outscored their Foton counterparts in the whole game, 36-23.
Michael Parala scored nine points in the fourth en route to a total of 15 to go with six rebounds. Also submitting good numbers for Game Three were Jopher Custodio and Alex Almario with 10 points each with Almario adding eight rebounds and five assists.
“Mighty Sports is a very deep team,” said Coach Garcia. “Yes, we beat them once in the elimination round without Kiefer Ravena around but it does not mean that we will win always.”
Euro-Med lost in their first round meeting, 64-66, on opening day last March 6. Euro-Med got its bearings back via an 87-73 reversal last April 27.
Hernandez still topped Arellano with 13 points. Mikee Reyes was next with 11 points.
Game One of the best-of-three semifinals series will be played this Sunday (May 15) at the Malolos City Sports and Cultural Center. Jump ball will be at exactly 7:00 PM.
In last year’s Founders Cup, Euro-Med also made the semifinals against top seed Caida Tiles, losing 1-2. They then lost the one-game playoff for Third Place against the Santa Lucia Realtors.
How They Scored:
EURO-MED (68) – Parala 15, Almario 10, Custodio 10, Salamat 6, Alvarez 6, Tajonera 6, Adeogun 4, Capacio 4, Galanza 3, Gil 2, Poligrates 2, Saitanan 0.
FOTON (52) – Hernandez 13, Reyes 11, Nacpil 9, Gomez 5, Enriquez 4, Moraga 3, Ablaza 3, Mallari 2, Rivera 2, Penaflor 0, Ouattara 0.
Period Scores: 20-15, 33-28, 45-35, 68-52.