PASIG CITY – A three-point shooting spree in the fourth period pushed Philippine Christian University past Philippine Merchant Marine School and into the championship game of the Rain Or Shine Sumilang Invitational Tournament Wednesday evening (April 26) at the Sumilang Covered Court. Waiting for the Dolphins in the one-game finale is Centro Escolar University, the only undefeated squad left in the tournament.
Robin Villamayor had just restored the upper hand to PMMS with a free throw, 64-63, and that was the cue for Yves Sazon and Fidel Castro to knock in a pair of triples each the erected PCU’s biggest lead of the contest nearing the final two minutes, 75-66. The Mariners though refused to quit and pared the deficit to three after two free throws from Rocky Antonares with 57 ticks remaining, 73-76.
Sazon, who went scoreless in the first half, saved his best for last as he drilled in one more triple to give the Dolphins a solid 79-73 edge with 28 ticks on the clock. The Mariners failed in their next possession and Sazon was promptly fouled, sinking both his shots to formalize the victory and up his personal total to 14 markers.
Michael Ayonayon led the Dolphins’ offensive with 32 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Ayonayon was held to only four markers in the final period but he underscored his team’s three-point prowess with a miracle heave from halfcourt to close out the first half in their favor, 39-32.
Overall, the Dolphins connected on 11 of their 33 three-point attempts with Sazon accounting for four, Ayonayon and Castro with three each and one more from Chri Malto. The three-point shooting easily negated the Mariners’ big edge in rebounds, 50-33, and better overall field goal shooting percentage (30/67, 0.449).
Rocky Antonares topped PMMS with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Aaron Morante followed with 16 points on four triples while Domark Matillano was next with 12 points despite missing all his seven triple attempts.
PMMS will now play Saint Clare College of Caloocan for Third Place. After the PCU-CEU championship tussle, an exhibition game of PBA Legends will be played to capped the tournament that began last April 19 in honor of the 400th death anniversary of Santa Rosa de Lima Parish patroness Saint Rose of Lima.
How They Scored:
PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (81) – Ayonayon 32, Sazon 14, Tambeling 12, Castro 11, Pallatao 4, Malto 3, Mescallado 3, Abrigo 2, Camaya 0, Galit 0, Sumalacay 0.
P M M S (73) – Antonares 26, Morante 16, Matillano 12, Mboe 6, Bernardo 4, Kue 4, Villamayor 3, Stevens 2, Mascardo 0, Manatad 0, Gilbero 0.
Periods Scores: 12-14, 39-32, 55-56, 81-73.