THE Optum Knights and the Xtend Ops Pterodactyls stunned their higher-seeded opponents in the semifinals last Saturday, May 27, 2023, at the Benedicto College gym in Mandaue City, to forge winner-take-all matches for the finals seats in the BPO Rivals basketball tournament.

The Knights edged the Wipro Tigers, 60-57, while the Pterodactyls upended the Aldesa Kingsguard, 77-75. Wipro and Aldesa held twice-to-beat advantages, which means the four teams will face off one more time to determine which teams will advance to the championship round.

Nichole Sultan had 21 points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals to lead the Knights’ resurgence in the semifinal round.

Meanwhile, Mikhail Moreno had a monster ballgame as he compiled 17 points, 19 rebounds, four assists, seven blocks and three steals to lead the Pterodactyls to the win. Frances Cristuta had 19 points, Jhun Munoz added 18, while Albert Fernandez tallied 14 to help the Pterodactyls live to see another day.

Former University of San Carlos standout Nico Magat had 27 points and 10 rebounds for Aldesa. (JNP)