Top Seeds Bacolod Tay Tung High School (BTTHS) A and STI West Negros University (STI-WNU) remain undefeated in the quarterfinals held on Friday, of the 1st United Negros Basketball League Aspirants Basketball Cup 2023, at Bacolod Tay Tung High School Gymnasium.
Being played as of press time was the semifinals encounter between STI-WNU against St. John’s Institute (SJI) A while BTTHS A battled University of St. La Salle (USLS) for a place in the finals. The undefeated teams are armed with a twice to beat advantage against their semis opponent.
BTTHS Team A overwhelmed Luisa Medel National High School 88-24, where the dominance of the Thunderbolts was in full display, as they limited LMHS to single digits output for 4 quarters.
Ahron John Cagayao led BTTHS A with 12 points, Aethan Kyle Pimentel – 11, Adrian James Alagaban and Jhalil Sultan – 10 each, Francis John Lamasan – 8, and Roland Vincent Oñate – 6. On the other side, Jester Paypa and Micko John Villarosa delivered 9 and 8 points, respectively, for LMNHS.
Meanwhile STI West Negros University held off the 4th quarter rally of University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos (UNO-R), to win the game, 68-63.
STI-WNU led 54-38 by the end of the 3rd quarter, but UNO-R engineered a last ditch rally during the payoff quarter, led by Matthew Depamaylo, Jayven Pachoro and George Agnes, to cut the deficit to as low as 3 pts. However, STI-WNU managed to hold on and seal the semifinals seat.
STI-WNU was led by Kyle Salgado’s 12 points, backstopped by Ed Christein Marinduque and Brent Jandy Yanong’s 11 markers each, followed by Kyle Matthew Barrieta – 9, Cian Renier Gumacal – 8, and Jovel Thomas Gonzales – 6.
UNO-R was led by Agnes with 19 points, Depamaylo – 11, Reigner Torres – 9, and Ced Ditching – 7.
Meanwhile, St. John’s Institute Team A dominated Bacolod City National High School (BCNHS), 73-32. From a 25-15 1st quarter lead, SJI-A unleashed a 25-4 scoring run in the 2nd quarter, led by Jose Miguel Sy’s 8 points, and Lorenzo Joaquin Lacson’s 6 to make it a 50-19 game at the break.
Loretizo paced SJI A with 12 markers, Lacson – 10, Ryton Celis – 9, Marlowe John Keith Alacapa – 8, and Aethan Gregory Yap – 6.
University of St. La Salle blanked sister school St. Joseph School-La Salle (SJS-LS) in the final 4:22, ending the game with a score line of 65-49 to advance to the next round.
USLS had an early double digit lead in the 2nd quarter 30-19, before SJS-LS closed in with a 7-0 run to cut the halftime deficit to 4 points.
SJS-LS tied the game at 43, at the start of the 4th quarter, courtesy of a triple by William Haniel Malacad. However, Reagan Charles Jamero and John Troy Newman gave USLS breathing room as they extended the lead to 49-43. A follow-up by Sam Emmanuel Pescadilla and a coast to coast drive by Jameer Angelo Gapusan drew SJI-LS to within 2 points, but USLS managed to restore order, extending the lead anew at 55-47. Rey John Alamo scored on a layup with 4:22 left to cut the deficit to 6, but that was unfortunately the last point SJS-LS scored, as USLS tightened up their defense while scoring on fast break attacks.
Vinz Krhystoff Lapore spearheaded USLS with 14 points, Luis Andrei Lirazan – 13, Leou Jaemiel Leonero – 9, Newman – 7, Gian Alexis Vasquez and Jamero dropped – 6 apiece.
Gapusan led SJS-LS with 20 markers, also registering several blocks in the process, but the team ultimately lacked scoring support with Malacad and Pescadilla adding only 5 points apiece.*