ACSAT stays alive, beats La Salle-Dasmarinas; Arellano U still on top
The Asian College of Science and Technology Lightnings survived a furious end-game rally to beat the La Salle Dasmarinas Patriots 89-80 in the 14th Petron NCRAA men's basketball tournament held at the Arellano Gym in Legarda.
ACSAT gunner Nico Pupos scored 7 straight points to break a 68-all tie and give the Lightnings the lead for good midway thru the 4th quarter. The Patriots who trailied by as much as 14 points took their largest lead in the game at 68-64 on a putback by slotman Rovie Ryd Baguio. Baskets by ACSAT's Welland Munoz and Rey Burgos knotted the score setting up the heroics of Pupos.
A double technical foul called on the Patriots Jun Salado and ACSAT's Harvey Igtos somewhat broke the momentum for La Salle. The referees caught both players exchanging elbows during a play in La Salle's front court. This proved costly for La Salle since this was Salado's 5th foul which sent him to the bench.
With the win, the Lightnings remained in the hunt for a semifinals seat with a 6-3 win-loss card. They have to win their last assignment against the dangerous PATTS Sea Horses on Saturday to have at least a tie for the 4th slot.
In the first game, the Arellano University Chiefs remained in first place with a masterful 88-68 trashing of UDM. Big men Gio Ciria Cruz and Orlando Daroya kept UDM at bay with both their offense and defense together with the hot shooting of swingman Alfie Martinez.
As of this writing, the SFAC Doves and the PUP Maroons are still playing. Both teams are in contention of landing a final four slot as the tournament winds down to its last few games.