BRUCE Dacia scored the last seven points as the ML Kwarta Padala secured the bonus two points with a 78-72 win over Misamis Oriental Meteors in the main game of the Tournament of the Philippines Cebu City Leg at the Cebu Coliseum last night.
The win stretched the Niños’ winning streak to 28, dating back to last year.
The two teams will slugt it out again in the finals match at 6 p.m. tonight and the Niños will be gunning for their second leg title.
The Niños also won the inaguaral legt title in Manila last June but did not play in the second to fourth legs.
In the first game, the Hobe Bihon-Taguig City dominated the shaded area to score its first win against the Mandaue-Cebu Landmasters, 95-77.
The game also served as a preview to the more intense and physical battle for third place at 5 p.m. today, which will be followed by the M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala-Cebu Niños and the Misamis Meteors championship match at 7 p.m.
The Landmasters wasted a gallant first half performance where they showed determination and poise despite the strong outside shooting of Taguig.
However, when the momentum shifted, the Landmasters lost their cohesion and failed to defend the shaded area, which was their fort in the opening quarter.
After Jay-R Gerilla and Eric Zanoria drilled back-to-back triples to give Mandaue a 50-40 lead early in the third period, Taguig countered with an 11-0 run to take the lead momentarily.
Ariel De Castro scored an easy lay-up and Jerry Lumongsod nailed a trey to increase Taguig’s lead.
And while Taguig played a well-rounded game, Mandaue went for three-point shots that failed to sink and the Landmasters suffered their seventh straight defeat since winning third place at the Laguna Leg last June 25 in Los Baños.
De Castro who proved unstoppable down low, scored a game high 22 points, Jemal Vizcarra added 12 and Eric de la Cuesta finished with 11. Gerilla topscored for Mandaue with 20 points, while James Laygo added 13.