Patrick Cabahug came off the bench to produce an MVP-like performance as Misamis Oriental fended off a fourth quarter rally by ANI-FCA, 85-82, and clinched the third semis berth in the Tournament of the Philippines (TOP) Saturday at the Xavier Gym University in Cagayan de Oro City.
Averaging just 12.2 points in the eliminations, Cabahug erupted for a game-high 30 points, including some crucial bombs in the third quarter as the Meteors joined Treston Laguna and Ascof Lagundi in the semifinals.
The Meteors will play the Cough Masters in the best-of-three semis series starting Aug. 31 with the Meteors hosting the first two games.
Hardly a factor in the first half, Cabahug came alive in the third period, dropping 17 points that outscored the entire Cultivators by one point.
Cabahug, a former Adamson University stalwart in the UAAP, had three triples in that searing run where the Meteors built a 64-55 advantage heading into the payoff quarter.
Back to back triples by Dino Daa and Khiel Misa pushed the Meteors to their biggest lead at 15 points, 72-57, midway through the fourth.
ANI-FCA, however, chopped the lead down to three, 85-82, with four seconds left after it turned hot from long distance and shot five of its nine triples in the stretch. But time was not on their side.
“We know what Patrick can do but this win is the fruit of good team work and our hard one week preparation.
We are determined to win this game and I think the players showed that in this game,” Meteors coach Jun Noel said.
ML Kwarta Padala-Cebu, which emerged number one team in the elimination in this tournament jointly organized by Philippine Basketball League and Liga Pilipinas, tries to complete the semis cast when it hosts MP Pacman Gensan in their own quarterfinals series on Aug. 25 and 26 at the New Cebu City Colisum.
VJ Serios had 16 points and five rebounds to pace Ani-FCA.
Misamis Or iental 85 — Cabahug 30, Juntilla 8, Capati 8, Misa 7, Andaya 7, Daa 6, Reguera 5, Saldua 4, Taganas 4, Lamocha 3, Raneses 3, Moreno 0, Tagupa 0, Lucernas 0.
ANI-FCA 82 — Serios 16, Palaganas 13, Custodio 11, Bautista 9, Saguindel 9, Luanzon 8, Dizon 8, Hugnatan 4, Sena 2, Te 2, Cagoco 0, Sevilla 0, Berry 0, Membrere 0,
Quarters: 19-16, 38-39, 64-55, 85 -82.