LA TRINDAD – The Avengers-Isaiah 7:14 Bulldogs and Agi-Kabayan finished third in their respective brackets while the Isaiah 7:14 Bulldogs eliminated the Kapangan Sons to enter the finals of the 35Up Bracket of the 4th season of the Strawberry Cup.
The Avengers did not have to sweat to get the prize as Buguias failed to show up last July 26 for their third place battle in Bracket G. It was a bitter-sweet win for the Avengers, who had to win and came out victorious in their last three elimination games to advance to the playoffs. They first defeated Isaac-UC, 95-88, then Evangel, 79-66, before turning in a resounding 87-71 victory over Buguias to bag the third seed. They, however, fell badly to K11, 94-65, in the semis to settle for the fight for third.
On the other hand, Agi-Kabayan bagged the Bracket I bronze by outlasting the Emissaries, 70-68, also last July 26. Agi-Kabayan was one of the underdogs who almost pulled an upset in playoff action this year. They need to win their last two elimination games to have a chance at the playoffs and they just did that. They pounded Far East, 114-88, then followed it up with another rout, 87-65 this time, to send the Wesleyan home in a knockout match. They finished 4-4, good for fifth and a spot in the playoffs.
They got to a rousing start by eliminating fourth seed North, 79-69 in the quarterfinals then scalping top seed LTMPS, 91-86, in the first game of the semis to set the do-or-die match for the right to advance to the finals. LTMPS, however, halted their march with an 82-70 victory to relegate them to this third place battle.
Meanwhile, the 35Up Isaiah 7:14 Bulldogs avoided the upset rush as they finished off the Kapangan Sons, 110-103, also last July 26 to advance to the finals. They will face top seed Isaac for the title.
The Bulldogs and the Sons were engaged in a nip-and-tuck battle for playoff positioning for the bracket. Both teams held a 5-2 win-loss record going to their last game and are to face each other for the second seed and right to gain the twice to beat advantage. The Bulldgos won the match, 90-83, to virtually get “game one of their best of three affair” for a spot in the finals. The Sons, however, even things up when they hacked a 94-90 win in the first game of the semis, leading to this do-or-die match.
By: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS