Photo from FilBasket

AICC Manila advanced to the semifinals while Pasig-Sta. Lucia forged a do-or-die quarters match in the FilBasket Subic Championship at the Subic Gym Tuesday.

The top-seeded Manila dribblers outplayed No. 8 MTrans Batangas City, 75-65, to book the first Final Four berth while the fifth-seeded Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors thumped the No. 4 Nueva Ecija Bespren, 99-79, to live for another day.

Both AICC Manila and Nueva Ecija enjoy twice-to-beat quarters advantages but the Manila dribblers refused to waste time in bolstering their title campaign.

Hesed Gabo spearheaded with 16 points while Michael Mabulac chipped in 14 and 11 points for AICC Manila, who pulled away from a 23-21 first-quarter lead to a 39-30 halftime cushion after limiting MTrans to only nine points in the second period.

MTrans struggled to regain the momentum since then despite Jeff Viernes erupting for 20 points and eight rebounds.

Meanwhile, Pasig took an early 25-20 lead until Nueva Ecija closed the gap midway the second period for 33-all courtesy of James Martinez’s completed three-point play.

Jeckster Apinan, however, stepped up for the Realtors to reclaim the 51-45 at the half and maintained their pace throughout.

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.

Source: Manila Bulletin (