Southern Cross completes elims sweep at Factset’s expense


By Frank Leo Aniscal – Published March 4, 2020

Southern Cross swept the eliminations after taking down rival Factset, 85-75, as its final assignment in the Corporate Invitational Division held at The Upper Deck Lifestyle Center in Ortigas, Pasig City.

As Factset officially took the lead with exactly six minutes left in the regulation, 65-64, Southern Cross felt the sense of urgency in the crucial period and closed out the match with a 21-10 exchange to stay undefeated in their division.

The high-flying Emil Abatan created the most damage with his baseline brilliance, finishing with a double-double of 24 points and 16 rebounds. Jason Santos posted his own 14-12 double-double output, while Arnold Aurella Jr. helped with 11 markers. MVP frontrunner Jheyar Marcelo filled different categories with impressive numbers as he recorded 10 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, and five steals.

Rivalry lives on between these two squads as they opened the game in a close affair, making five deadlocks and four lead changes. However, Factset got better finish as they held a one-point lead, 21-20.

The Marcelo-Santos duo made the difference in the second period as they helped Southern Cross build a 13-2 rally to gain a 36-26 lead. Factset answered back with their own 11-5 run to end the first half, but still trailed by four, 41-37.

Turnovers cost too much for Southern Cross in the third quarter as they let Factset to keep within striking distance. Gaitan's triple in the 1:58 mark tied the game at 55, which also became the final basket of the quarter.

As Southern Cross delivered a 9-2 run to start the final salvo, Factset answered with their own 8-0 rally capped by Russel Medrano's layup to get the advantage, 65-64. However, the remaining minutes was totally owned by Southern Cross as they imposed power inside the paint and sent three Factset players to the bench due to fouls.

Gaitan and Medrano led Factset with a combined 57 points, 30 and 27 respectively. They are still winless after three outings.