THE AICC Manila defeated the San Juan Knights-Go For Gold, 75-69, on Nov. 15 to take the top seed heading to the playoffs of the Filbasket tournament at the Subic Bay Gymnasium.
The victory was Manila’s eighth victory in 10 games, good for the best record in the league after the elimination round. They will be taking on the MTrans Buracai De Laiya BCTA in the quarterfinals, armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.
Michael Mabulac had 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the way for Manila, while Michael Juico added 16 markers and six boards. Also chipping in 10 apiece were Hesed Gabo and Jessie Collado.
The loss dropped San Juan to 7-3 and into third place. The top four seeds after the elimination round will hold a twice-to-beat advantage.
Meanwhile, the Nueva Ecija Bespren nabbed the fourth spot and the last twice-to-beat bonus with a 93-87 victory over the MTrans Buracai De Laiya BCTA. James Martinez and Renz Palma carried the Bespren to the crucial victory as the former had 21 points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals while the latter contributed 18 points, 10 assists, five boards and a whopping five steals.
The Bespren will take on the Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors in the quarterfinals. The other two quarterfinal showdowns will see the second-seeded Davao Occidental Tigers battle the Burlington EOG Sports while the third-ranked Knights clash against Medical Depot.