Nineteen-year-old Inand Fornilos was almost unstoppable in the shaded lanes as he and four other teammates took turns in leading the defending champion La Salle Greenhills back into the finals of the 94th National Collegiate Athletic Association junior basketball tournament.
The 6’2” Fornilos came up with a double-double performance of 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Greenies after their 97-71 swamping of the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers yesterday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Greenies, who were also led by Joel Cagulangan with 19 points, reached the best-of-three finals for a second straight season with the Malayan Red Robins.
The Red Robins, who drew a career-high performance of 27 points and 10 rebounds from Paolo Hernandez, turned back the San Beda Red Cubs, 75-67, for their third straight championship appearance.
“We had to beat their intensity. They got the momentum when they won the last game. We just drew strength and experience from that last game,” said Greenies’ coach Marvin Bienvenida after they bounced back from a 78-81 setback in their first semis encounter.
Fornilos, who only had five points in that previous game with JRU, rose to the occasion in the second and third periods with 8 and 10 points, respectively, when the Greenies began pulling away by a big margin.
His teammates RC Calimag had 12 points, while Lennox Valenzuela and Joshua David chipped in 11 each for the Greenies in denying the Light Bombers their first-ever finals stint in recent memory.
David and Cagulangan led a 11-0 run that put the Greenies in front, 15-11, in the first period.
In the second period, Mark Daniel Sangco and Valenzuela presided over a 17-6 blast that gave the Greenies a 44-27 edge.
The Greenies widened their lead to 56-38 with David’s trey, which touched off a 19-7 surge in the third period.
JRU, which last made it to the semis in Season 90, got 22 points from Marwin Dionisio, while John Amores added 17.
The Red Robins, who are set to face the Greenies on Nov. 6, also got 27 points and 13 rebounds from Jonnel Policarpio.
“It’s all about heart. Siguro, mas gusto namin. At ipinakita naman agad ng mga bata sa first quarter. Dumepensa kami agad,” said Red Robins’ coach Randy Alcantara.
The Red Cubs, led by Art Oliva with 16 points, were able to rally from 10 points down to within four off Oliva’s drive in the last 3:01, 61-65.
But the Red Cubs committed five errors, while Dan Arches hit a triple and a driving shot that gave a the Red Robins a 72-63 advantage, in the final 42.6 seconds.
CSB-LSGH 97—Fornilos 22, Cagulangan 19, Calimag 12, David 11, Valenzuela 11, Sangco 8, Lao 5, Lepalam 4, Mosqueda 3, Morales 2, Arciaga 0, Natividad 0, Palencia 0, Cortez 0, Lopez 0.
JRU 71—Dionisio 22, Amores 17, Vasquez 16, Baluyut 7, Delos Santos 4, Portales 3, Bucoy 2, Icban 0, Macatangay 0, Fortuna 0, Ganut 0, Sy 0.
Quarterscores: 27-21, 51-38, 75-53, 97-71.
Mapua 75—Hernandez 27, Policarpio 25, Arches 14, Sarias 5,Mariano 4, Diaz 0, Escamis 0, Smith 0, Dennison 0, Quimado 0.
San Beda 67—Oliva 16, Lazaro 10, Pelipel 9, Sanchez 8, Llarena 7,Coyoca 6, Estacio 3, Ynot 2, Alcantara 2, Andrada 2.
Quarterscores: 14-15, 37-32, 54-47, 75-67.