TOP seed Taguig held off a last-ditch rally by Parañaque, 84-78, to advance to the South Division finals in the 2018 Metro League Open basketball championship at the San Juan gym.
The Generals relied on Jerry Lumongsod ( 23 points), Richard Albo (12 points, eight rebounds), and Nico Alcantara (10), Richmond Gilbero (10) and Lery Mayo (10) to slam the door on the Green Berets in the tournament organized by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and supported by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
Alfonso Rodriguez led the Green Berets with 17 points and 11 rebounds, followed by Gwayne Capacio with 14 points and Cris Vincent Dalaten with 14 points.
The Generals led, 71-56, before the Green Berets scored nine straight points in a two-minuite span to threaten to within 65-71 with still 6:27 left.
Another scoring run put the Green Berets to within 74-77 before a closing 7-4 run sealed the win for the Generals.
In the North, Manila and Valenzuela took the top two spots and the twice-to-beat advantages over No.3 Quezon City and No.4 Caloocan.
Actually, all four teams -- Manila, Valenzuela, Quezon City and Caloocan -- finished with similar 7-2 records.
Manila, however, clinched top seed with +15, followed by Valenzuela with -1, Quezon City with -4 and Caloocan with -10.
As the top two teams, Manila and Valenzuela now enjoy twice-to-beat advantages over No. No. 4 Caloocan and No. 3 Quezon City, respectively.
The North semis will be played tomorrow (Nov. 15.)
The 10-team tournament also has Synergy 88, San Miguel Corp., World Balance, Frabelle Foods, Summit Mineral Water, Alco Plus, Gerry’s Grill, Excellent Noodles, glitter.ph, SM Supermalls and Nature’s Spring as the major sponsors.