Jumbo Plastic secured the last automatic semifinals berth after dispatching an import-less Sta. Lucia team, 80-61, in the final day of the elimination round of the PCBL Chairman’s Cup at the Marikina Sports Center.
The Linoleum Giants joined Mighty Sports in taking a bye in the quarterfinal round and moving onto the semifinals of this tournament supported by Hahn Manila, During’s Barbeque and Restaurant, LGR, Spalding and Ambucore.
Jumbo Plastic, the inaugural staging champion, ended the double round eliminations with an 8-4 record, the second best in the tournament behind Mighty Sports’ 10-2.
Teams which will figure in the best-of-three quarterfinal round are SCTEX (No.3), Euro-Med (No.4), Foton (No.5) and Sta. Lucia (No.6).
Foton and Sta. Lucia ended up tied at fifth to sixth spots with identical 5-7 win-loss card, but the Toplander got superior tiebreak by virtue of the win over the other rule, beating the Realtors in both meetings in the elimination round.
For Jumbo coach Steven Tiu, securing the No.2 spot has been the team’s ultimate goal.
“At least we got what we wanted. For me, this campaign is more competitive because of the imports. Nag-beef up rin yung mga teams. On our part, we’ve matured as a team in the second round,” said Tiu.
As expected, Tiu banked on his deadly backcourt combination of Finals MVP Jeff Viernes and ex-pro James Martinez, who both scored 21 points. The two combined for eight three-point shots of the total 10 made by Jumbo Plastic.
Mighty Sports ended its elimination round campaign on a winning note after beating Biyaheng SCTEX, 87-79, in the other game.
Despite missing the services of Kiefer Ravena, who is in the United States to train, Mighty Sports was able to pick up its 10th win in 12 games after drawing solid games from unheralded Arvie Bringas and import Bright Akhuetie, who tallied 14 points apiece.
JUMBO PLASTIC (80) – Viernes 21, Martinez 21, Arafat 10, Lopez 6, Eguilos 6, Taganas 6, Perez 4, Santos 2, Arellano 2, Siruma 2, Bitoon 0, Ibay 0.
SANTA LUCIA (61) – Javelona 14, Escosio 11, Jamito 11, Vidal 7, Bautista 7, Camasura 4, Salado 4, Castanarez 3, Ilagan 0, Gabriel 0, Bangga 0.
Quarterscores: 19-22, 42-32, 61-45, 80-61.
MIGHTY SPORTS (87) – A. Bringas 14, Akhuetie 14, Montilla 12, Melocoton 12, Ferrer 11, Tang 8, Regalado 6, Mangahas 5, Lopez 5.
BIYAHENG SCTEX (79) – Villarias 21, Batino 13, Akomo 13, Vitug 10, Raymundo 6, del Rosario 6, Reyes 6, Sumalinog 4, Calomot 0, Esmeria 0, Susaya 0, Pangilinan 0.
Quarterscores: 25-26, 45-49, 72-63, 87-79.