MANILA, Philippines -- Skyforce and Racal Motors defeated separate opponents last week at the Makati Coliseum to set up a best-of-three clash in the Finals of the 2014 Danny Espiritu Cup tournament.
Skyforce beat Nougat, 81-75, to reach the championship round for the third straight season, while Racal Motors ousted Gerry's Grill, 88-76, in the other semi-finals match-up.
Skyforce is hoping to end its string of bridesmaid finishes in the tournament organized by One Unite Sports Cup, while Racal Motors is shooting for the title in only its first season in the league.
Their finals series begins this week.
With former pro players M.C. Caceres and Ervin Sotto leading the charge, Skyforce frustrated Nougat down the stretch and thwarted any hopes for an upset.
Caceres wound up with 13 points and nine rebounds for Skyforce, while Sotto finished with 12 points and seven boards.
Racal Motors, which recently signified an intention to join the PBA D-League, leaned on double-digit outputs of St. Claire standouts to grab a finals berth.
Jayson Ibay had 18 points, R.J. Jamito added 15, Marte Gil had 11, while Robin Dulalia and John Ibarra both scored 10 points each for Racal Motors, whose line-up is composed mainly of players from the NAASCU champions.
Paolo Orbeta and Billy Robles tried to keep Gerry's Grill alive with 19 and 18 points, respectively, but their squad was simply out-matched.
Jerald Bautista set a new personal best with 23 points for Nougat, which ultimately fell short even after finishing strong in the elimination round.