The Wildcats opened the fourth quarter with a 16 – 2 blast which ended with a buzzer-better triple by forward Robinson Palomares to take the lead 72 – 65 and never looked back to clinch the crown
Palomares who had 26 points spearheaded the Wildcats’ assault at the paint after veteran Edgar Awitin pulled out due to foul trouble at the middle of the third quarter.
Forward Aldrin Blanco also came out big canning 16 points, including a three-pointer that gave UM its bggest lead of the ballgame, 78 – 69 with 4:02 left.
The Crusaders ignited an 8-0 blast behind forward Aldo Duran in the third quarter to seize a 53-42 lead but they failed to sustain their defense later.
Duran who played huge minutes after two Holy Cross ace big men were deactivated in the line-up canned 17 points.
Kirk James Blanco and Arthur Japson had 16 and 14 points respectively for the Crusaders who took 44 – 36 advantage at the half
In the battle for third place, Roger Tibudan was cold as ice from the perimeter but he bailed out Jose Maria College from trouble when he converted his four gift shots to help the Kings carve an 86-83 victory over the Agro Industrial Foundation College. (Rico Biliran/MindaNews).