Sister squads University of San Carlos (USC) North and South Campus will square off for the championship in the Small Basketeers of the Philippines (SBP) division after they blasted their respective opponents in the semifinals of the 2009 Milo BEST Twin Tournament Saturday at the University of Southern Philippines Foudnation (USPF) gym along Salinas Drive in Lahug.
Defending champions USC North defeated the Sacred Heart School-Jesuits (SHS-J), 61-49, behind a hot start that gave them a 28-18 lead.
The Eagles came back in the second period to cut the lead down to 29-22, but USC North?s third quarter crew featuring Clint Suelto and Arnie Padilla padded the lead to 43-34 at the end of three periods.
SHSJ launched another spirited rally in the fourth quarter with Popoy Navarro scoring six straight points to cut down the lead down to six at 51-45, three minutes left in the game.
But then the duo of Tan and Anthony Pestaño literally took over the ballgame, scoring USC?s next 10 points to seal the win. Shann Tan led USC with 16 points while Pestaño added 15. Navarro led SHSJ with 11.
USC South, on the other hand, beat Don Bosco, 52-44, as they withstood a late game rally as the latter almost came all the way back from a 19 point deficit.
USC South led by 30-11 but saw that lead dwindle down to just four, 42-38, behind a roaring surge by Don Bosco led by Cris Yap.
But USC South found its bearings just in time to prevail down the stretch. Carlos Ortega led USC South with 10 points while Yap led Don Bosco with 14.
The sister schools will face each other in a one-game sudden death championship game for the SBP title and a chance to represent Cebu at the Milo-BEST Regional Finals which will be held in Roxas City from Oct. 24 to 25.