For the second straight year, National U-Manila and La Salle Green Hills-Mandaluyong are set to meet in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go NBTC League National Finals after clearing their respective Fearless 4 matchups on Friday at SM Mall of Asia Arena.
NU-Manila barely hung on to beat San Beda-Manila, 91-90, if not for Gerry Abadiano's heroics. LSGH-Mandaluyong turned back FEU-Manila, 87-77, to advance to the Div. 1 championship game set for Sunday, still at the same venue.
Team captain Abadiano led the Bullpups with 23 points, four steals, and three assists, while Cyril Gonzales and Terrence Fortea each tallied 18 markers in the nail-biting win in the Fearless 4 of the national championship for high school.
Jiam Quiambao contributed 30 points and 11 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Joshua David led LSGH to an 10-point triumph over FEU with 21 points and six rebounds, while Kobe Palencia gave a 17-point boost off the bench.
But the highlight of the game was the surprise return of NCAA 94 Juniors MVP Joel Cagulangan who is coming off an ankle surgery but still tallied eight points and three assists in eight minutes on the floor.
RJ Abarrientos did everything he could for FEU but eventually saw his 38-point eruption go to waste. The spitfire guard went down swinging, hitting 7-of-16 three-pointers.
The Greenies were well within control halfway through the fourth quarter, opening up a 14-point gap, 77-63, after a Jared Lao three-ball.
Before NU and LSGH square off for the national championship, fans will first get to see the best of the best high school ballers duke it out on Saturday in the NBTC All-Star Game, also at SM MOA Arena.
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