Bokod and La Trinidad 1 marched to the finals after disposing their semifinal rivals in the Cong. Eric Go Yap Congressional Cup at the Benguet Sports Complex on Nov. 13.
La Trinidad took the first finals seat after beating Itogon, 98-86, on a night when Armando Pollante was absent.
Even with the absence of one of its key players, Trinidad 1 took an early lead; thanks to long hitters Jason Alvaran, Will Kean Lee, and Kean Zachary Diaz who raced to a 10-point lead before settling to a 49-41 halftime lead.
Trinidad 1 raced to its biggest lead at 14 in the third canto and finished that period with a 76-63 lead.
Aside from Pollante, La Trinidad also missed the services of Neil Ulep, recently elected as Sangguniang Kabataan chair of Buyagan who needed to attend a meeting of the SK Federation.
Coach Jong del Rosario said the team stepped up on all fronts of the court as they limited Itogon’s top gunners.
Lee led Trinidad 1 with 23 points on top of eight rebounds and eight assists and three steals while Alvaran, Diaz, and John Tuazon chipped 17, 15 and 12 markers in that order.
Kim Padawag led Itogon with 24 while Chad Villanueva and Jude Quitolbo, who was hobbled with four fouls as early as the third canto, added 15 and 13 markers apiece.
Top seed Bokod also made it to the finals after escaping Tuba in the other half of the semi-final match.
After a 9-2 lead, Tuba run to start the fourth quarter and saw its lead down to nine from 25 points.
Bokod took control of the game late to walk with the 76-62 win.
Bokod wanted no complications and followed second seed La Trinidad 1 to the finals as soon as possible when it opened a 21-13 first quarter lead which ballooned to 18, 43-25, at halftime.
League scoring leader Cyril de Vera was practically a no-show in the first 15 minutes of action as youthful Fruto Luzadas III practically took the yeoman’s task of lifting Tuba’s waivering spirit.
Rey Gabino took over the offensive thrust for the top seed in the second canto scoring 10 of the team’s 22 point production.
His fellow former Cordillera Career Development College player Darwin Fernandez contributed exactly a third of Bokod’s first quarter output of 21 points, with Ramil Alimba draining a put back on a Kendrick Joseph miss with 3:09 to go in the third canto.
John Ric Buenaventura led Bokod with 20 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and four steals.
Fernandez, Gabino, and Alimba chipped in 12 and 10 points for Bokod. Gabino scored all his points in the second quarter alone.
Luzadas led Tuba with 18 points, while de Vera and John Cedric Pugong added 16 and 10 apiece with the latter hauling 12 boards. – Press release