Extra Joss Fighters rolled with the punches when adversity hit them, helping them to pip last season’s runners-up Davies Megacryl 79-74 in the dying moments of the decisive third game of their semifinal playoff at the Olympic Indoor Arena on Saturday.
Having bounced back from the first-game defeat to level the series 1-1 last week, the win catapulted Fighters to a final showdown with Mekong Tigers, who made the championship round after sweeping aside title-holders Pate 310 in straight matches.
The first game of the best of three final between Mekong Tigers and Extra Joss Fighers is slated for September 5.
True to expectations, the crucial tie produced plenty of drama and excitement of the highest order. The teams were dead even 42 at half time after Fighters squandered a seven-point advantage and let their rivals catch up.
The end of the third quarter saw Megacryl nose ahead for the first time at 63-59.
Fighers came back charging in the final session, and with three minutes left on the clock the teams were knotted up at 72 and again all square at 74 with 36 seconds to play.
Megacryl missed two vital chances to grab the lead and Fighters exploited the ensuing turnovers to their advantage.
With defending champions Pate 310, and runners-up Davies Megacryl, who as Alaxan Patriots having won the seasonal honours the year before, hitting the buffers, the CBL is set to crown a new champion this season.