Caption: Roldan Binas of Rotary goes for a layup against Street Roc last night. Picture: Yee Chun Leong
Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
ROTARY advanced into the final of the Low San Brunei Open basketball tournament after edging Street Roc 104-96 last night.
They will face Juramas, who thrashed Sabli’s 93-64 in the other last-four matchup, in the title decider for the Toolbox Cup on Sunday night at 8.45pm.
RF Eliseo posted a game-high of 40 points to pace Rotary while Allen Salvador added 20 points.
The trio of Roldan Binas, Apollo Bibat and Elvin Requintin also got in double figures with 14, 13 and 12 points respectively.
On the other hand, Kel Hung topscored for Street Roc with 31 points while RJ Lucida poured in 21 points.
Lim Liang Wei added 16 points while Kevin Tay chipped in 10 to a losing cause at the BBA court in Batu Bersurat.
It was an evenly contested opening half as it was never more than a two-possession game.
Lim Teck Cheng beat the buzzer with a baseline jumper off an inbounds pass to put Street Roc up 54-51 at the break.
Hung did the bulk of the scoring for Street Roc at the start of the third period but turnovers hurt them allowing their opponents to claw their way back.
Rotary eventually grabbed the lead and extended it to double figures after a layup by Salvador to make it 77-67 with three minutes to go in the third stanza.
They led by as many as 13 points but five straight points by RJ Lucida cut the deficit to see Rotary up 82-74 heading into the decisive frame.
It was a see-saw battle but Street Roc got to within 88-85 midway through the period after Lim split his freethrows.
Rotary utilised the clock on each possession but couldn't find the basket.
The game was tied at 88-88 after Lim finished off a three-point play with over three minutes to play.
However, Eliseo responded with back-to-back jumpers to restore Rotary’s advantage.
Street Roc were forced to take a timeout and returned to the floor with man-to-man defence to tie the game once again.
With Rotary up by two points, Binas split his charities - hitting the first before missing the second - but grabbed the offensive rebound for a putback to make it at two-possession game at 97-92 with a minute to go.
Over at the other end, Hung did an identical play to make it a two-point game once again.
Street Roc had a chance to tie the game after Eliseo split his charities but they instead turned the ball over.
Bibat was then sent to the line where he hit both to make it a five-point game at 95-90 with 26 seconds left.
Eliseo then surprisingly fouled Lucida on the inbounds to send him to the line. However, it worked to his favour with the latter missing both to ensure Rotary hang on for the victory.