John Nermal drives to the basket
The STI West Negros University team made sure that another reversal in the cross-over semifinals will not happen as the Visayas Champions beat the Minadanao champions 74 – 53 to advance to the championship game of the 2016 STI National Basketball Tournament. Last year both teams battled for third place, this year one is marching on to the National Finals and a chance to redeem themselves from last year’s unfortunate meltdown.
Norman Puerto hangs in mid-air
STI College Koronadal started the game with an upset on their minds as Norman Puerto scored eight points to start the quarter to give the South Cotabato team a 16 – 6 lead in the first six minutes of play. This is the first time that a team has gotten a 10 point lead against the West Negros team and the Koronadal squad was smelling a big monumental upset is about to happen.
Dan Ignacio lays it in
Unfortunately for the Mindanao champs, MVP frontrunner John Mc Hale Nermal had other plans in his mind as he single handedly bringing back the Negrenses back to the game by scoring 11 points in the first quarter. The first 10 minutes ended with STI College Koronadal on top 18 – 15. This was the first time STI WNU trailed during the first quarter.
Renz Solomon drives to the hoop
Come the second quarter, Nermal went full blast as his offense picked-up and the West Negros offensive machine suddenly came to life. Nermal scored 14 second quarter points which was capped by two three pointers and fastbreak points to give the the West Negros team the upperhand. With the score slowly piling up with the pace of a snail, Nermal went to work once again by scoring on two three pointers and a drive to the hoop. From a 24 – 22 lead, Nermal scored 8 eight points while point guard Renz Solomon sank another three to ignite an 11 – 0 run to give the STI West Negros team a 35 – 23 halftime lead.
Nermal scores again
The third and fourth quarter there were no different stories as STI West Negros stepped on their pedal to put their offense into maximum overdrive and putting their defense into full gear which made STI College Koronadal score only 7 points in the third quarter. STI WNU coasted along the fourth quarter as the team from Bacolod finally barged in to the National Finals where they will meet the team they beat yesterday – STI College Malolos.
Another fastbreak for Puerto
STI WEST NEGROS UNIVERSITY (74)
Nermal 29, Solomon 13, Vizcarra 8, Sajo 6, Adjie 4, Galvez 4, Veloso 4, Villarias 4, Belocura 2, Cadase 0, Pastias 0
STI COLLEGE KORONADAL (53)
Caguisano Jr.18, Puerto 15, Sulit 6, Castillo 4, Famulag 4, Valencia 4, Ignacio 2, Caugisano J. 0, Morte 0, Libdan 0, Soliva 0,
15 – 18, 35 – 22, 54 – 27, 74 - 53