TOP seed Manila and Valenzuela try to arrange a title showdown in the North Division of the 2018 Metro League Open basketball championship at the San Andres Sports Complex in Malate.
Manila, which clinched top seed, will meet No. 4 Caloocan, while Valenzuela, the No. 2 seed, will battle No. 3 Quezon City in a pair of exciting matches starting at 7 p.m.
Both enjoying twice-to-beat advantages by virtue of their 1-2 finish, Manila and Valenzuela need only to beat Caloocan and Quezon City today to advance to the finals.
Actually, all four teams -- Manila, Valenzuela, Quezon City and Caloocan -- finished with similar 7-2 records in the tournament organized by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and supported by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
Manila, however, clinched top seed with +15, followed by Valenzuela with -1, Quezon City with -4 and Caloocan with -10.
In the South, Taguig survived a last-ditch rally by Parañaque, 84-78, to advance to the finals.
The Generals relied on Jerry Lumongsod ( 23 points), Richard Albo (12 points, eight rebounds), and Nico Alcantara (10), Richmond Gilbero (10) and Lery Mayo (10) to slam the door on the Green Berets.
Alfonso Rodriguez led the Green Berets with 17 points and 11 rebounds, followed by Gwayne Capacio with 14 points and Cris Vincent Dalaten with 14 points.
The Generals led, 71-56, before the Green Berets scored nine straight points in a two-minuite span to threaten to within 65-71 with still 6:27 left.
Another scoring run put the Green Berets to within 74-77 before a closing 7-4 run sealed the win for the Generals.
But Taguig will have to wait for its championship oponent as Pateros pulled of a thrilling 66-62 win over Solid San Juan -Big Chill in the other semifinal.
Rickson Gerero finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists for Pateros.
Ariel Capus contributed eight points and eight rebounds, Jio Lopez had eight points and four rebounds and Eric Mabazza also added eight points and four assists.
Emmanuel Elarmo paced San Juan with adouble-double 12 points and 12 rebounds while Jahn Ryan Magbanua had 10 points and six rebounds.
The 10-team tournament also has Synergy 88, San Miguel Corp., World Balance, Frabelle Foods, Summit Mineral Water, Alco Plus, Gerry’s Grill, Excellent Noodles, glitter.ph, SM Supermalls and Nature’s Spring as the major sponsors.
Pateros (66) --Gerero 15, Capus 8, Lopez 8, Mabazza 8, Quinga 7, Mercado 7, Singontiko 7, Navarro 6, Brojan 0
San Juan (62) -- Elarmo 12, Magbanua 10, Corpuz 8, Saret 8, Rosopa 7, Acol 5, Astrero 5, Jagunap 4, Dada 3, Paras 0
Quarterscores: 10-20, 29-32, 48-44, 66-62