Quezon City and San Juan swept their respective quarterfinal series late Monday night and set up a Final Four showdown in the northern division of the MPBL Datu Cup at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Capitals banked on the late game explosion of Andoy Estrella to pull off a thrilling 77-74 win over the Makati Super Crunch to move on the semifinal round of the tough northern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.
The former Mapua standout knocked in 15 of his 19 markers in the fourth period as the Capitals completed a two-game sweep of their best-of-three series.
Ranked seventh ahead of the playoffs, the Capitals became the first team to advance in the semifinals in the northern division where they will face another crack squad in the Knights, a 75-69 winner over the gritty Navotas Clutch.
What’s surprising was Quezon City’s surge in the playoffs.
The Black Mamba Energy-backed squad showed up and snapped Makati’s 15-game winning run at the start of the playoffs then came up with a fitting follow up win to end the series in an impressive fashion.
Estrella’s triple in the last 2:38 mark of the fourth quarter put the Capitals ahead, 71-61, and the team which didn’t even make the .500 mark in the elimination round, completed one of the biggest turnarounds in the tournament so far.
San Juan kept its composure in the midst of Navotas’ repeated uprisings to prevail.