Rising and Premiere Finals Set for PIBAQ Ambassador Cup
Last Friday’s games were all about action as both Rising and Premiere semifinal games completed the cast for the Finals. In the Rising Division, Harinsa and Kids Come Along battled for the right to face Doha Dessert in the Rising Division Championship. Kids Come Along came out victorious edging out a 59-51 win against Harinsa. Kids Come Along led by double digits up to the third quarter but Harinsa fought back behind Red Bundallan and Benz Dungca in order to salvage their season, reducing KCA’s lead to just three with just eight minutes remaining in the game. KCA then relied on their veterans, Mark Mabilangan and Ferdinand Cubangbang to hold their fort and ensure the victory. KCA’s Tex Pelopero led all scorers with 20 while Red Bundallan had 14 for Harinsa.
In the first of Premiere Division’s semifinal double header, Kids Come Along (Premiere Team) had to stage a courageous comeback to beat Lucky Seven. The game started with Lucky Seven firing from all corners with their lead reaching fifteen at one point in the second quarter. In the second half, KCA crawled their way back by forcing Lucky Seven to commit turnovers. The first basket in the final quarter finally gave KCA the lead and they controlled the game until the end for a final score of 76-64. Jeff Cristobal top scored KCA with 14 followed by Khim Calo and Jeffrey Defensor with 13 each while Elmer Santander led Lucky Seven with 17.
The second game of the double header saw Beton continue their mastery over Three Stars and A Sun with a resounding 75-50 win. Beton’s big three, Eric Tamayo, Nino Gelig and Rodel Mallari showed the way by scoring 19, 17 and 15 respectively. Three Stars attempted numerous comebacks and was even able to reduce Beton’s lead to just eight in the half, but that was the last time that they would see a glimmer of hope as Betons blasted off to start the second half and frustrated Three Stars every attempt to comeback with their tenacious defense. Billy Masbate was the top scorer for Three Stars with 12.
Game one of the Finals for Premiere will be on Friday, Aug. 25 at 11 AM in Al Rayyan Training Hall while Rising’s winner take all championship game will be on Sep. 1 right before game two of the Premiere finals. PIBAQ Ambassador Cup 2017 is brought to you by Qatar Basketball Federation in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy in Doha and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas; sponsored by Alicafe, Diana Jewelries, Happy Journey Travels, McDonald’s, Philippine Airlines, Season Restaurant and Travelex.