Never running out of tricks to upset frontrunners, the sixth ranked Legends squad nipped No. 3 team Phoenix, 80-79, to secure a semifinal seat in the 4th St. John’s Institute Alumni Basketball Freiendship Cup at the Msgr. John B. Liu Activities Center.
The Legends, with members from Class 1989 & Earlier, came from behind to foil the Phoenix of Class 1999-2000 in overtime as Kevin Ramos, who intercepted an inbound pass in the backcourt and was fouled on his way to the basket and nailed his first free throw with .7 second left in the game.
In the other game, No. 5 Shakey’s (2009-11) rode high on its three-point shooters accurate mark to surprise No. 4 Gentech/ Sun Cellular (1993-95) with a 90-82 final score.
In the Legends-Phoenix game, Rhett Demonteverde scored the last points for Phoenix at 79-75 with 50 seconds left with the possession going back to Phoenix side after a missed attempt by the Legends.
The Phoenix’s collapsed started when the team committed an 8-second violation and the Legends got hold of the possession.
Daniel Chiu bounced the ball at the back of a Phoenix defender during an inbound palay and scored on the layup as EJ Go tied the game with two free throws with 6.4 seconds left.
Earlier, the Legends poured it on in the second quarter as they overcame a first quarter deficit, 20-18, to establish a 53-30 halftime lead.
In the second quarter, Phoenix was forced to play four against five with 6:40 left as Jason yap suffered a hamstring injury. The outside shooting of the Legends was starting to find its mark as Chiu torched the hardcourt with 17 points, hitting 5 of 5 from the trifecta area.
The Legends lead ballooned to 30 points in the early part of the third quarter, but Phoenix shifted to a halfcourt man-to-man defense that rattled the Legends as Phoenix cut the deficit to 65-49 going to the fourth quarter.
The Legends’ offense continued to sputter while Paolo Li and Bogs Ongsingco delivered the points for Phoenix.
Phoenix was able to lead by three points, but the Legends were able to tie it from the free throw line. Phoenix had the golden chance to seal the win but missed on its two free throws with two seconds left in regulation.
Chiu and Ramos finished with 19 points each, EJ Go added 13, Omay Demonteverde and Reymond Andrade picked up 11 points each.
Li paced Phoenix with 20 points, Demonteverde scored 10, Jan Jan Lopue and John Michael Moises shot 9 points each, Bogs Ongsingco made 8, Moses Pabon and Jordan Chua contributed 6 points each.
In the second game, Shakey’s took their chances from beyond the arc and it paid dividends as they hit 10 treys in the first half to take a 48-37 lead.
In the second half, Christian Castro and Angudong bullied their way in the shaded area with 10 points each, while Ang hit 3 treys in the fourth period, but Shakey’s was unfazed as they continued to hit their outside shots and sank their free throws to complete the upset win.
Coo finished with 19 points for Shakey’s, backstopped by Dionela with 15 points, Cuaycong 10, Arguelles and Carl Suarez shot 7 points each.
Angudong paced Sun Cellular with 21 points, Ang shot 17, Castro contributed 10, Vincent Javelosa made 8, and Teruel had 7 points.
The Legends (1989 & earlier) reinforced by Kevin Ramos and EJ Go of Batch 2009 are just a win away from a finals seat as they will battle the winner of No. 2 Terra Dolce (1990-92) and No. 7 Orix (2001-02) and Shakey’s awaits the winner between AX Currency Exchange(2006-08) and 11 Degrees (1996-98) who are playing as of press time.*with a report from Stephen Tan
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