By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA—Late Saturday night, Batangas City was thinking on how to clinch the last seat in the MPBL Southern Division Finals elsewhere due to a planned schedule change that was eventually shelved.
[Related Story: Sigh of relief for Batangas City as team retains homecourt edge vs Zamboanga despite planned schedule tweak]
After a win on Tuesday night at home, the team will now need to think on how to beat Davao Occidental in the Final Four.
The Athletics clinched the final spot in the league semifinals after ousting the Zamboanga Rapidos, 80-72, at the Batangas City Sports Center.
Batangas City finished the first quarter strong, going on an 11-2 run to take a 22-14 lead to the second.
The team then kept Zamobanga at bay and eventually pulled away on a 10-0 run to start the fourth period for its largest lead at 18, 70-52, as its visitor's late bid came up a bit short.
Val Acuña fired 17 points, one rebound, and one assist for the defending champions, who will travel to the Rizal Memorial College Gymnasium in Davao City for Game 1 of their South Finals series against the Tigers.
Jeff Viernes came close to a double-double with 15 markers and nine dimes with two boards and one steal.
Harold Arboleda made 17 points, six caroms, five assists, and one steal for the Rapidos, who dropped the series despite taking Game 1.
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