Zamboanga Valientes trounce Macau Black Bears to enter The Asian Tournament semis

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Zamboanga Valientes trounce Macau Black Bears to enter The Asian Tournament semis
Peter Alfaro (15)
The Asian Tournament

MANILA, Philippines -- On to the semifinals for the Zamboanga Valientes.

The Zamboanga Valientes barged into the semifinal round of The Asian Tournament after drubbing the Macau Black Bears, 90-82, Friday at the City of Passi Arena in Iloilo.

The Valientes held on against the Guangdong leg champions to secure their grip on the second spot of Group B play.

Frankie Johnson came up big for the Philippine side, scoring 24 points with four 3-pointers, as well as two assists and three steals.

Big man Malick Diouf backstopped with 12 points and seven rebounds.

After trailing most of the night, the Black Bears made things interesting after unleashing an 8-0 run to cut a 14 point disadvantage to six, 77-83, with 2:21 left.

The Valientes, though, kept cool and relied on big baskets by Rickey Brice, Nick Evans, Mike Tolomia and Johnson down the stretch to ice the game.

It was enough to ensure the Valientes’ place in the final four, where Zamboanga will face Pola Pilipinas RPG in the knockout game.

Evans tallied a double-double of 11 markers and 13 boards, while Brice registered 11 points to go along with eight rebounds.

The Valientes finished the eliminations with a 2-1 record behind the Taipei Mustangs.

“It is our competitive spirit. We want to make it to the semifinals. Obviously, we’re a Filipino team, we’re here in the Philippines so we want to put on a show for all the fans out here and represent the country,” Johnson said. 

They will battle Pola on Sunday, 7 p.m., at the same venue.

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