EARNEST Efren Reyes of Bulacan attempting a shot.

THE Bulacan Damayang Filipino Republicans clinched a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals (QF) after defeating the Laguna Pistons in overtime, 117-108, last Saturday in the Chooks-to-Go National Basketball League (NBL) Chairman’s Cup 2021 at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Earnest Efren Reyes scored 28 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, and converted a running jumper to send the game into overtime before the Republicans outscored the Pistons, 17-8, in the extra period.

The Republicans rose to 7-3 and, due to the Taguig Generals’ loss to Pampanga Delta, 108-88, in the second game, grabbed one of the twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals that goes to third and fourth ranked teams at the end of the elimination round.

Ryan Operio also played big plays in overtime after finished with 20 points and Joshua Moralejo had 13 points in the Bulacan victory.

The Pistons finished the elimination round with a 4-6 record despite a gallant stand where they came back from 19 points down to grab a 100-98 lead late in regulation. But even without a time out and with 3.8 seconds to work with, Mr. Reyes scored the jumper that extended the game to overtime.

CJ Gania had 16 points, seven rebounds and shot 4-of-8 from threes in the Delta’s 20-point victory over the Generals.

Pampanga cemented the No. 1 position with a 9-1 record and secured one of the two automatic semifinal berth. Taguig goes to 6-4 and in danger of missing the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.