Prized forward Inand Fornilos took time to get his rhythm.
And when he did in the third quarter, the 6’2 Fornilos hit the baskets that mattered most, allowing the La Salle Greenhills Greenies to move out of range and waylay the no. 1 seed San Beda Red Cubs, 83-72.
His big play came as LSGH unloaded a season-high 17 triples, relied on Joel Cagulangan’s 27 point output and Fornillos inside plays to force a rubber match for the second finals slot in the 93rd National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) junior basketball Final Four at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Nung first half, malamig ako. Hindi ko ma-shoot ang mga tira ko. Mintis palagi. Pasalamat pa rin ako kay coach sa tiwala niya,” said the 18-year old Fornilos.
The 11th grader only had 11 points, eight rebounds and two assists in the 27 minutes he played.
He started making his presence felt after the Greenies engaged the Red Cubs in a three-point shootout till the last seven minutes of the third period.
The count was tied at 51-all when Fornilos asserted his will during a 10-0 run.
He scored six points during that instance to put LSGH ahead, 61-51, in the last 4:04.
Fornilos kept an eye on big man Germy Mahinay, who topscored for 13 points for the Red Cubs.
But Mahinay held to just two points by Fornilos in third, and from there, the Greenies went on to start the fourth with a 67-55 spread.
Triples from Cagulangan and Jacob Lao in the last 1:04 then allowed LSGH to take control with a 12-point lead at the end of the third.
Cagulangan scored the most number of three-pointers that afternoon with seven.
His contribution allowed the Greenies to better the 15 triples that the Red Cubs did when they played against the Emilio Aguinaldo College Brigadiers in the second round.
“We were able to break away. But it was a semi-breakaway because San Beda is always deadly,” said LSGH coach Marvin Bienvenida.
Evan Nelle made 11 for the Red Cubs, and he was limited to two in the last period.