by Ernest Hernandez
Quezon City booked the first seat in the Metro League Reinforced Conference Northern Division Finals after eliminating Manila, 117-100, in the North semis at the Caloocan Sports Complex on Saturday.
The Junior Capitals pulled away from the Stars in the second quarter following a 28-17 scoreline in the said quarter that opened a 54-42 halftime lead that would balloon to as much as 20 in the second half.
Ibrahim Outtara led six QC players in double figures with 21 points alongside 16 rebounds, two assists, one block, and two steals as his team went for the jugular instead of utilizing its twice-to-beat advantage.
John Mahari led the locals with 19 points, six rebounds, five assists, and one steal.
Andrian Celada exploded for 29 markers, 11 boards, two dimes, one steal, and two blocks for Manila.
Quezon City 117-Outtara 21, Mahari 19, Mabayo 16, Melegrito 11, Estoce 10, Vasallo 10, Comia 7, Espanola 7, Delos Reyes 5, Asuncion 2, Udjan 2, Barraquias 0
Manila 100-Celada 29, Acosta 13, Laude 11, Camacho 10, Castro 9, Alban 8, Manalo 8, Mendoza 5, King 4, Balagtas 3
Quarterscores: 26-25, 54-42, 82-64, 117-100