After suffering a 108-101 setback in the hands of No. 4 team Crossfit Creamy Yogurt, top seed Absolute Distilled Water will try to live up to its No. 1 ranking when the two teams face off tonight for the last ticket to the final in Class A of the Fil-Sino Asia Brewery Inc. Invitational Basketball Cup at Bacolod Tay Tung High School Po Hang Gym.
Crossfit forced the rubber match after prevailing over Absolute, who enjoys a twice-to-beat advantage, in their first encounter in the semifinals. Winner in tonight's game will face Nestea Iced Tea for the championship.
In beating Absolute, Crossfit got a lift from a three-point shot of Pol Morales, six straight layup points of Charles Del Castillo, and a three-point play of Raymund Lacson to erase Absolute's 88-77 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Crossfit took the lead at the end of the third quarter, 74-73, but their gunners went silent at the early minutes of the payoff period as Robbie Jalando-on hit four successive treys for Absolute.
Opting for a fastbreak attack anchored on Del Castillo, Crossfit managed to remain within striking distance even as Jalando-on continued to fire from three-point area to keep Absolute ahead at 94-86.
Crossfit's quick pace finally paid dividends as they ignited a crippling 12-0 run at the crucial stage of the contest to overtake Absolute at 100-96 with 1:26 left.
A Jalando-on layup and Ritchie Militante free throws for Absolute tied the game at 101-all with 30 seconds left but an endgame brilliance from Brian Coo bailed out Crossfit as he scored seven points in the last 10.6 seconds of the game to complete the come-from-behind win.
Coo made a coast to coast layup to break the tie, intercepted the pass in the ensuing play and converted two free throws. He made another steal and knocked down a triple as time expired.
Del Castillo paced Crossfit Creamy Yogurt with 22 points, Coo finished with 19 points, Raymund Lacson scored 18 p, and Morales delivered 12 points.
Jalando-on tallied 29 points to lead Absolute while Militante had 18, Mark Binguan hit 17, Carl John Oquindo added 14, Ren Ren Lacson chipped in 9 points, and Cris Javelosa with 8 points.
Meanwhile, Nestea secured the first final seat by streaking past Synchrotek-Summit, 85-81, with the tandem of RB Chua and Arnol Laureño leading the way with 20 and 18 points, respectively.*NAB
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