MANILA, Philippines – After dispatching their respective foes in contrasting Final Four finishes, the Letran Squires and the CSB-La Salle Green Hills Greenies turn their attention to each other as they duke it out for the crown in a best-of-three championship series in the NCAA Season 98 juniors basketball tournament.
Led by Andy Gemao’s all-around performance of 14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks, the league-leading Squires got the job done in just one game, eliminating the No. 4 Mapua Red Robins, 83-78, last Monday, March 6.
Letran also got solid contributions from the likes of Jonathan Manalili, Joven Baliling, George Diamante, and Justine Hugo as it booked its first finals ticket in 14 years.
The third-ranked Greenies, on the other hand, had to overcome a twice-to-beat disadvantage against the second-seeded San Beda Red Cubs to make their return to the tournament’s biggest stage after last entering it in 2018.
LSGH gutted out a nail-biting 89-85 victory over San Beda in Game 2 of their Final Four duel last Thursday, March 9, thanks to monster performances by its twin towers Luis Pablo and Seven Gagate.
Pablo notched a massive double-double of 25 points and 19 rebounds, while Gagate stuffed the stat sheet with 20 markers, 9 boards, 3 assists, and 4 blocks against the dethroned Red Cubs.
Like Letran, LSGH also received much-needed boost from its players such as James Ison, Santi Romero, and Rod Alian, who all breached double-digit scoring in its do-or-die affair against San Beda.
Game 1 of the finals between the Squires and the Greenies tips off on Monday, March 13 at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila at 2:30 pm. – Rappler.com
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