"It was a statement win," Suber said. "It showed people that said, 'Oh, PET, that's an easy win,' that we can play ball and we have heart . . . It was a great win and we needed that.
"And then to advance to the final four - we really wanted that because everybody underestimated us. So that put a chip on our shoulders. And to come out and prove everyone wrong just felt great."
PET trailed, 15-4, after one quarter, but outscored Imhotep in the second half, 36-22. Junior guard Devante Truitt (4-for-15, 4-for-6 free throws) added 12 points, and senior wing Anthony Harris chipped in 10 (4-for-9, two threes).
The win means a Public League semifinal date with co-champ Constitution, which outlasted Del-Val Charter, 79-75. The two will meet tomorrow (6:30 p.m.) at Southern.
The Panthers (20-5, 8-2) were hurt when junior forward Sean Lloyd (nine points) got his third and fourth fouls about 4 minutes into the third quarter. Sophomore guard Jaekwon Carlyle scored a game-high 13 points (6-13, 1-for-6 from three). Senior Basil Thompson grabbed 16 boards to go with seven points.
Suber, who lives near 58th and Race, is a lunch-pail type who didn't start playing basketball until his sophomore year at Sayre.
He shot 6-for-11 (most from the paint) against Imhotep with four baskets via offensive put-backs.
"When I first started playing ball, I didn't know how to play," he said. "I was just rebounding and running the floor. Now, as I've gotten better and worked out more, my jump shot is [better], I can dribble and can shoot pretty well.
"Before, my game was not good," he continued, "not good at all."
College coaches have taken notice. Suber, who came to PET from Bartram after his junior year, reports offers from Tennessee-Martin and Maryland Eastern Shore, with Campbell and Prairie View in pursuit.
With his 3.5 GPA, he hopes to pursue sports marketing to stay close to where his heart lies.
"I just love to play basketball," Suber said. "It's just in my head. I love it. Wouldn't give it up for anything. And, if you play basketball, it can take you places. It can get you a better life; that's what I'm looking for. I want to make it and get a better life. That's what got me into basketball."