Sharks close the door on Pioneers, meet Stallions in finals

SOUTHERN Conference top seeds Accenture Sharks finally found the spark they needed to eliminate the hard-fighting Sykes Asia Pioneers, 75-58, in the deciding Game 3 to march to the Conference Finals of the 2013 CSCC E-League basketball tournament at the City Sports Club Cebu Gym.

In the North Conference Finals, top seed Aegis Vipers drew first blood as they defeated defending champions Stream Ingenyouity to move one game away from clinching their first ever E-League Finals.

Archie Batua, a former member of the University of Cebu Webmasters, was back to his deadly form, scoring his season-high 30 points on top of seven rebounds, four assists and eight steals to help Accenture take the second Southern Conference Finals seat.

After leading 18-11 in the opening quarter, Accenture kept its hold of the top despite the extra pressure by the Pioneers.

With the help of former Jose Rizal University Bombers starting guard Ildefonso Bulangis Jr., Accenture went for the kill in the final quarter to advance to the conference finals against second seed Lexmark Stallions in the best-of-three Southern Conference Finals.

Bulangis added 16 points, two rebounds, four assists and three steals for Accenture, while Frederick Montelibano topscored for Sykes with 20 points and Ray Oliver Castañares added 11.

In the other game, Aegis turned the heat on in the last three quarters to score a 57-47 win over Stream in Game 1 of the Northern Conference Finals.

After trailing 16-13 in the opening quarter, the Vipers slowly inched closer behind the efforts of Ryan Veloso.

The defending champions kept a slim lead after the first half before allowing Aegis to take a 39-36 lead entering the final quarter.

But Stream failed to recover and Aegis went for the kill in the final minutes of the game to move one win away from clinching the finals ticket.

Veloso was the lone Aegis player to score in double digits, while Sylvester Millevo topscored with 14 and Joselito Aranda added 11 for Stream.

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