Fil-Am Nation, Adamson battle for 2024 NBTC Nationals crown

Fil-Am Nation Select's Eian Lowe in action in the semifinals of the 2024 NBTC National Finals against Batang Tiaong, March 22, 2024 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Handout/NBTC

MANILA — It will be Adamson vs. Fil-Am Nation Select-USA for the championship in the 2024 NBTC National Finals, after the two squads overcame separate foes in the semifinals on Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Fil-Am Nation Select staved off Batang Tiaong, 81-72, to advance to the Finals for the second year in a row.

Terrence Hill continued to be a stable force with 18 markers, seven boards, and four assists, while getting ample help from Andy Gemao who contributed 15 points and five rebounds and Jacob Bayla who contributed 12 of his own.

Meanwhile, the Baby Falcons — the reigning UAAP champions — escaped with a 70-65 win over Mapua High School in their own semifinal match-up.

John Ray Abayon led the way with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Justine Garcia and Vince Reyes contributed 14 points each.

Adamson and Fil-Am Nation Select will face off on Sunday at the Pasay City venue.

This is the Baby Falcons’ first time to play for the Philippine national under-19 basketball championship, while Fil-Am Nation Select lost in last year’s finals to the National University-Nazareth School.

In Division 2, Joey Panghulan played hero for Top Flight Sports Canada as he hit a halfcourt heave to shoot his side over gritty Arellano High School, 87-84.

Justin Thompson, the brother of Gilas Pilipinas and Ginebra guard Scottie, top-scored for Canada with 18 markers laced with six steals and five boards, while JC Espinosa also added 16 points. Panghulan wound up with 14 points for the Fil-Canadians who, like the Fil-Americans, will try to become the first international champions in the tournament.

Top Flight is set to duel against Eco Green Technology-Makati which pulled away from a tight affair against Philippine Christian University- Dasmariñas, 95-82, behind Russel Bayani’s 27-point outing.

Before the Divisions 1 and 2 Finals, the NBTC shines the spotlight on the best of the best young Filipino talent on All-Star Saturday.

The adidas-NBTC All-Star Game tips off at 7 p.m. and will be preceded by the Manila Live Girls All-Star Game, the adidas Three-Point Shootout, the adidas Shooting Stars competition, the adidas Skills Challenge, and the Manila Showcase.

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