Dagupan City—Philippine Merchant Marine School ended its elimination round campaign on a winning note by edging defending champion Olivarez College, 70-69, to claim the top spot of Group A in the NCRAA men’s basketball tournament.
By winning over the reigning champs, the Mariners completed a seven-game sweep and clinched the top spot of Group A.
Bryan Hilario shattered the game’s final deadlock with a three-point play at the 1:35 mark, 68-65.
The Sea Lions responded at the other end with a Vinny Begaso basket.
Entering the final minute, Wendel Attas, who was blocked by John Uduba in the previous play, bounced back with a basket of his own to push the lead to three, 70-67, with still 1:02 left.
John Albert Rabe shoved the Sea Lions with a twinner to put more pressure on the Mariners, who missed their next offensive thrust.
The Sea Lions had a chance to wrap up a win, but Dwight Saguigit’s triple at the buzzer failed to hit the target as the Mariners celebrated their escape win.
Hilario led all scorers with 21 points, while Saguiguit led Olivarez with 16 markers.
P M M S (70)
—Hilario 21, Sunga 17, Carvajal 11, Attas 9, Gabat 4, Testa 4, Cabauatan 2, Palomares 2, Sosing 0, Templo 0.
—Saguiguit 16, Almajeda 14, Begaso 12, Aquiatan 6, Castro 5, Rabe 4, Sala 4, Uduba 3, Siegue 2, de Leon 2, Geronimo 1, Rocero 0, Completo 0.
15-12, 33-29, 52-47, 70-69.