Chowking Yee scores
College basketball is all about heart, resiliency and ability to get back. This was what the STI College Quezon Avenue dribblers showed as they summoned their fourth quarter magic as they erased a twelve point lead by STI College Balagtas in the last 4 minutes to win by a mile 91-86 to complete the sweep of the elimination round and automatically barge in the finals of the 10th STI Basketball Showdown.
Sarmiento on an inside play
STI College Quezon Avenue team started like a house on fire as they opened with a 10 - 4 lead on the account of their early pressure defense that forced the Balagtas cagers to turn the ball over. Their start is reminiscent of STI College Balagtas' start against Team Santa Rosa. After that Team Balagtas called a time out, regrouped and the result was a 16-2 run that gave the Bulacan based dribblers a 20 - 12 lead with 4 minutes to go. The Quezon Ave. dribblers came back to life once again and took the upperhand on a foul counted play by Juan Paolo Zaballa as they took the lead 23-22. Cedrick Ablaza put STI College Balagtas on top 24-23 at the end of the first quarter after nailing a jumper.
Like the first quarter, STI College Quezon Avenue started strong once again as they grabbed a 29-24 lead after Charlon Untalan scored on a jumper. Unfortunately, when the giants awakened, the STI College Balagtas dribblers suddenly stepped on the pedal and went to overdrive as their paralyzing 26-10 run caught the Quezon Avenue dribblers red handed. Led by Ablaza, Adrian Querubin and Alvin dela Cruz, the Balagtas dribblers ran rings around the Quezon ave cagers and by the end of the second quarter they have established a commanding 50 - 39 lead.
Two of Sarmiento's 27 points
Rogie Trunio opened up the third quarter with two three pointers to give Team Quezon Ave. some breathing room and sneak closer 53 -57. Just like a wounded tiger, Team Balagtas retaliated with a 9 - 0 run as Aaron Cruz scored on four points as he outduelled the Quezon avenue guards. STI College Balagtas kept on this rampage until the final 4 minutes of the game where the Quezon avenue team would lead 80-68 with five minutes left. This time around it was STI College QUezon avenue that went to overdrive.
Two Olympians face each other
William Vasallo ignited the fiery wind up of Team Quezon Ave who were down 68-80 with four minute left. Vasallo and Macabasco sank a three pointer each, at the same time, sparkplug Sarmiento finally joined the fray. Raymark Sarmiento who had 10 points in the first three quarters scored 17 of the 33 fourth quarter points of the Quezon Avenue dribblers as that offensive onslaught gave nightmares to Team Balagtas and they never knew what hit them. WIth 29 seconds to go Sarmiento scored to finally give back the lead for the Quezon Ave cagers 87-86. Team Balagtas sued for time and in the ensuing play bungled an opportunity to score as Sarmiento stole the ball again for an unmolested lay up. Quezon avenue's prize is a direct trip to the finals as they await the three teams that will knock each other out for the right to meet them.