Manila dribblers 1st team in FilBasket semifinals

AICC Manila booked a semifinal berth while Pasig-Sta. Lucia forged a do-or-die quarterfinals affair against Nueva Ecija in the FilBasket Subic Championship at the Subic gym Tuesday.

The Manila dribblers trounced MTrans Batangas City, 75-65, to become the first semifinalist in the tournament while the Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors routed the Nueva Ecija Bespren, 99-79.

Both AICC Manila and Nueva Ecija enjoy twice-to-beat quarters advantages after finishing the round-robin eliminations at first and fourth places.

But AICC Manila refused to waste time with Hesed Gabo and Michael Mabulac leading the charge.

Gabo paced with 16 points while Mabulac chipped in 14 points and 11 boards for AICC Manila, who limited MTrans with nine points in the second quarter to pad its 23-21 first-quarter lead to a 39-30 halftime cushion.

Jeff Viernes pumped in 20 points and eight rebounds for eighth-seeded MTrans, but his efforts went futile.

Meanwhile, the fifth-seeded Pasig lived for another day by imposing its might against Nueva Ecija early on with a 25-20 opening-quarter lead.

Nueva Ecija closed the gap in the last 6:01 of the second period after James Martinez completed a three-point play, 33-all, but Jeckster Apinan led Pasig-Sta. Lucia’s assault to regain the 51-45 upperhand at the half.

Six players scored in double digits for the Realtors with Justin Arana erupting for 25 points and 11 rebounds, and Ryan Costelo chipping in 16 points, six boards and nine assists.

Cedrick Ablaza added 13 points, Jerald Bautista and Apinan had 12 points each, and Rudy Lingganay posted 10 points.

The do-or-die match will be on Thursday.

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