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Quezon, Nueva Ecija collide in PSL finals after sweeping semis clashes

By Dugout Philippines

MANILA--Rampaging Quezon and Nueva Ecija arranged a best-of-five titular showdown in the PSL President’s Cup, this after completing a sweep over their respective rivals late Thursday night at the Filoil-EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.      

The Titans of Quezon continued to assert their dominance and completed a sweep of previously No.1 team Biñan following an 86-67 triumph in Game 2 of their best-of-three semifinal series.

Quezon bucked the absence of Ximone Sandagon, who suffered a fractured left cheekbone after he was inadvertently hit by Jimboy Estrada during a rebound play.

Sandagon went out of the game, but his absence wasn’t clearly felt by the rest of the Titans, who put together a solid game plan to completely outplay the Tatak Gel.

Quezon hit 13 three-point shots and shot 51% from the field (29-of-56).

The Titans also displayed their bench depth as they produced 50 points, 11 more than their rivals.

But what’s more impressive was the way Quezon defended as it kept KG Canaleta out of his comfort zone.

Canaleta was only good for seven points as his younger rivals were able to take turns shackling the former PBA star.

In the last two games of the Tatak Gel, the team could only score below 70 points as the Titans were busy grounding its counterpart.

Like Quezon, Nueva Ecija willed themselves to victory in closing out the San Juan Kings, 86-83, in Game 2 of their best-of-three semifinal series.

The Capitals bucked a slow start and survived the ejection of their most consistent player, Will McAloney, who was ejected for a disqualifying foul in the second half.

But the Capitals refused to quit and put together good games from players who were more than willing to step up, most notably JP Maguliano.

A third-string center when the season started, Maguliano had to fill in the big shoes left by Michael Mabulac, who is now committed to another league, and the void left by McAloney, who got ejected after giving up a dangerous foul against the driving Martin Galinato in the second half.

McAloney finished with 18 points before being thrown out of the game due to a disqualifying foul, with 35 seconds left in the third period, but Maguliano came off the bench and produced 16 points.

By sweeping the Kings, the Capitals arranged a best-of-five championship showdown with the Quezon Titans.

Game 1 of the finals series begins on Tuesday at the Nueva Ecija Coliseum.

Being the higher-seeded squad, Nueva Ecija enjoys the homecourt advantage under the 2-2-1 format.

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