STI-WEST Negros University Junior Mustang captured the National Basketball Training Center Bacolod Leg crown after an 80-73 win over Bacolod Tay Tung High School Thunderbolts in the do-or-die Game 3 on Monday night at the STI-WNU Gym.
Aldave Canoy led the way with 25 points, while Bon Brix Balontong and Austine Laureno finished with 17 markers apiece for the Junior Mustangs, which moves on to the NBTC regionals with the win.
Holding to a slim 22-20 advantage after the first period, the Junior Mustangs started to pull away in the second period on conversions from Canoy and Balontong for a 40-30 halftime lead.
The Thunderbolts cut into the Junior Mustang’s deficit in the third period but the latter managed to create enough distance in the fourth stanza with Laureno and Canoy converting their hits.
Rommel Hechanova Jr. finished with 22 markers, while Christian Gamao added 16 markers for the Thunderbolts, which suffered its second straight loss to the Junior Mustang following their NOPSSCEA encounter late last year.
The Junior Mustang drew first blood in the best-of-three finale series after an 80-63 victory in Game 1 last Saturday, while the Thunderbolts bounced back with a 66-63 win in Game 2 last Sunday.
On their way to the championship round, the Thunderbolts ousted University of St. La Salle-Bacolod, while the Junior Mustangs made a quick work of the Living Stones International School./PN