PSA Robert Andaya of People’s Journal/Tonight: Double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds for Smart Sports. PSA photo

Smart Sports, Capital1 in PSA final

April 17, 2024 People's Tonight 312 views

THE Smart Sports Scribes and the Capital1 Solar Boys forged a championship duel after pulling off similar thrilling wins in the semis of the 2024 Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Cup at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Malate, Manila last Tuesday, April 16.

Smart took the smile out of the Say Chiz Smileys in overtime, 54-53, while Capital1 weakened the Strong Group Athletics Press Row Boys, 71-70, in another nail-biter of a game, as the double-header easily proved to be the best in league history.

The knockout championship match between Capital1 and Smart as well as the battle for third between Say Chiz and SGA are set next Monday, April 22.

Reuben Terrado of scored 10 points including a jumper that gave the twice-to-beat armed Sports Scribes a one-point lead, 54-53, with under five seconds left in the extra period of the first match.

Cedelf Tupas, battling sickness, hoisted the final shot but his off-balanced release missed the mark as Smart emerged triumphant in the tightly-contested ball game.

Smart and Say Chiz went toe-to-toe especially in the final frame, trading baskets until Robert Andaya of People’s Journal/Tonight nailed a jumper that made it a 52-50 advantage for the Sports Scribes in the waning seconds.

Thirdy Dukha of the Philippine Daily Inquirer came to the rescue for the Smileys with a putback to send the game to overtime.

Andaya notched a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds for Smart Sports while Reuben Terrado added seven rebounds to his name.

Bolando also had 12 points and 13 rebounds on top of four assists and two blocks for the crew supported by Headstart Sports Academy, Danny Espiritu, and BaliPure.

Jonas Terrado of PDI logged 13 points, 18 rebounds, four steals, and four blocks for Say Chiz, which got relegated to the battle for third against SGA that pushed the also win-once-armed Capital1 to the limit in the second game.

The Press Row Boys erased a 12-point halftime deficit, 29-41, as they rattled the top-seeded Solar Boys in the next two frames to grab a 68-63 advantage in the last 2:58.

But just when Capital1 seemed to have fallen apart, Mark Montejo of Manila Bulletin, Bryan Ulanday of the Philippine Star, and Aldo Aviñante delivered an inside incursion, a booming trey, and two clutch free throws, respectively, to make it 70-68 for the Solar Boys with 35.5 ticks left.

Karlo Sacamos scored on a floater to tie the count but Christian Jacinto drew a foul on the other end for the Solar Boys. He, however, couldn’t anymore continue due to cramps putting Tiebreaker Times’ Jonash Dannug on the foul line as a replacement with 3.2 ticks left.

Dannug coolly sank the first free throw, and while he missed the second, Aviñante secured the crucial offensive rebound as time expired giving the victory to the squad backed by Mandy and Milka Romero, Uratex, Bulakan mayor Vergel Meneses, and Rebel Sports.

Ulanday fired 21 points laced with eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals, Montejo cashed in 16 points – including eight in the final frame that kept Capital1 afloat.

He added seven boards, three assists, and three steals while Aviñante also dropped 16 points with six boards, three assists, and two steals to boot.

Delfin Dioquino of Rappler scored two points only but tallied 14 rebounds, seven assists, and three steals. Jacinto had nine points and 12 boards.

Eugene Flores of One Sports uncorked 21 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals to power SGA as Diego Dela Paz racked up 19 points and 16 rebounds.

Sacamos chipped in 17 points, five rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Lance Agcaoili of added five rebounds and five huge blocks.