Quezon City became the only remaining unbeaten team and grabbed the North Division solo lead by surviving Caloocan, 92-90, while Pateros solidified its hold of the South Division lead by coming from behind to beat erstwhile-unbeaten Valenzuela, 94-87, in the Metro League basketball championships last Saturday at the Parañaque Sports Hall.
Upcoming PBA draft applicant Cyrus Tabi proved to be the man of the hour again for the Junior Capitals as he scored nine of his game-high 25 points during his team’s furious comeback from 13 points down in the payoff period.
Tabi’s fourth-quarter heroics included a lay-up that tied the score at 85-all with 1:54 left, a three-point play for an 88-86 lead with 1:23 remaining, and another two-pointer that put QC safely ahead, 92-88, with only five seconds left.
A floating jump shot by Johnnel Bauzon of Caloocan finalized the score of the game, where Quezon City improved its immaculate slate to 4-0 while ending the Supremos All-Star win streak at three, in the tournament organized by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and supported by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
In the other games Saturday in this tourney – which has “mobile app ng bayan” Barangay 143 as presentor, Spalding as the official ball and Team Rebel Sports as official outfitter – Solid San Juan-Big Chill, behind Joshua Saret, notched a third straight win by stopping still-winless Las Piñas, 92-80, while host Parañaque, led by Gwayne Capacio’s 29 points, also kept Marikina winless with a 92-81 victory.
Meanwhile, Quezon City tries to make it five in a row as it takes on dangerous Manila in a much-awaited Philippine Capitals Clasico match-up in the 5:30 pm second game of a triple-header on Tuesday at the Hagonoy Sports Complex in Taguig.
Caloocan will try to bounce back from the loss to the Junior Capitals when it goes up against Las Piñas in the 4 pm opening, while Taguig aims to make it two in a row as it hosts Marikina in the 7pm nightcap.
John Mahari added 18 points and Froilan Saquillo contributed 17 points and a game-high 21 rebounds for the Junior Capitals of Mayor Herbert Bautista and head coach JP Ycasiano.
Bauzon and MJ Enriquez shared scoring honors with 16 points apiece for Caloocan, which dropped to 3-2.
Pateros leaned on Rickson Gerero’s 33 points and Joo Lopez’s 13 points and 15 rebounds to subdue Valenzuela and improve to 3-1 in the South while dropping the Workhorses to 3-1 in a tie for second with Manila in the North Division of this 10-team tournament which also has Synergy 88, San Miguel Corp., World Balance, Frabelle Foods, Summit Mineral Water, Alco Plus, Gerry’s Grill, Excellent Noodles, glitter.ph, SM Supermalls and Nature’s Spring as major sponsors.
Isang Pateros trailed for a good 36:55 of the match and were still down, 84-77, with 5:45 left in the game before outscoring Valenzuela, 17-3, the rest of the way behind Gerero, Daryl Singontiko and Reiner Quinga.
John Tayongtong and Dan Natividad had 19 points apiece for Valenzuela, which missed ace gunner Erwin Sta. Maria.
San Juan, on the other hand, improved to 3-2 and moved half a game behind Pateros behind the efforts of Saret (26 points), Ryan Magbanua (14 points, 11 rebounds), and John Acol (10 points).
Only the top four teams from each group will advance to the division semifinals after the eliminations where teams play each other once including those in the other division.
Pateros 94 — Gerero 33, Lopez 13, Singontiko 13, Quinga 12, Ilac 10, Brojan 5, Go 4, Capus 3, Navarro 1, Mabazza 0, Mercado 0, Cruz 0.
Valenzuela 87 — Tayongtong 19, Natividad 19, Esplana 16, Martin 12, Chua 8, Pascua 4, Rivera 4, Vianjohn 3, Gamboa 2, Kalaw 0.
Quarterscores: 12-27, 36-48, 63-72, 94-87.
Quezon City 92 — Tabi 25, Mahari 18, Saquillo 17, Salazar 7, Macaballug 6, Melegrito 6, Estoce 5, Gomez de Liano 4, Senal 2, Riva 2, Nava 0, asuncion 0.
Caloocan 90 — Enriquez 16, Bauzon 16, De Mesa 15, Torrado 12, Perez 11, Ligon 10, Sombero 6, Tan 4, Principe 0, Mayuyo 0, Tamayo 0.
Quarterscores: 20-25, 38-45, 72-64, 92-90
San Juan 92 –– Saret 26, Magbanua 11, Acol 10, Dada 9, Jagunap 7, Bautista 6, Corpuz 5, Astrero 5, Elarmo 4, Rosopa 3, Casabar 2, Clarianes 2, Magbitang 2, Danao 0, Paras 0.
Las Piñas 80 — Sta. Rosa 22, Ollano 18, Lucente 17, Alvarado 12, Dickens 5, Gragasin 2, Dupaya 2, Villamor 2, Bueno 0, Santos 0.
Quarterscores: 25-15, 53-37, 74-57, 92-80.
Parañaque 92 — Capacio 27, Indoy 20, Rodriguez 20, Custodio 11, Dalaten 7, Gusi 4, Villareal 3, Baguio 0, Partosa 0, Geronaga 0, Elorde 0, Encela 0.
Marikina 81 –– Zapanta 28, Munsayac 15, Catipay 8, Castillo 8, Mendoza 6, Caceres 6, Bautista 4, Vicencio 2, Luciano 2, Robrigado 2, Anderson 0, Gervacio 0.
Quarterscores: 19-17, 39-36, 64-60, 92-81.
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