Caloocan and Pateros stayed in contention for a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals of their respective divisions by surviving separate opponents in cardiac games last Saturday in the Metro League Open basketball tournament at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
The Supremos All-Star relied on Michael John Perez in the endgame to defeat Solid San Juan-Big Chill in overtime, 86-84. Isang Pateros squandered a 20-point lead in the first half but were bailed out of trouble by an Eric Mabazza triple at the end, to avoid the upset ax in an 89-87 squeaker over winless Marikina.
The win enabled Caloocan to improve to a 5-2 record for a share of second place in the North Division. Quezon City and Valenzuela have the same records, behind the division-best 7-1 of Manila, in the tournament organized by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and supported by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
Pateros also grabbed a share of second place in the South Division after their win over the Shoelanders, which improved their record to 4-3, the same record as San Juan.
After the double-group, single round-robin eliminations of this 10-team tournament – which has “mobile app ng bayan” Barangay 143 as presentor, Spalding as the official ball, and Team Rebel Sports as official outfitter – the top two teams in both divisions will have twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals, which will have the 1-vs-4, 2-vs-3 format.
Two days earlier in the 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 – Manila moved a win away from a twice-to-beat advantage in the North Division semis as a result of an easy 112-98 decision over Valenzuela; San Juan surprised Isang Pateros, 101-90; while Quezon City stayed abreast of the North Division leaders with a 100-80 rout of host Parañaque at the San Dionisio Gym.
Perez, who finished with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds while adding five assists, scored the go-ahead basket for Caloocan, a lay-up with 34 ticks. The Supremos All-Star held San Juan scoreless the rest of the wa, even as Perez pegged the final score with a free throw split with 11 ticks left.
Isang Pateros led by as much as 54-34 midway through the second period, but Marikina’s MC Caceres and Francis Munsayac conspired to bring their team back in the game, even taking an 87-85 lead with 1:50 left on a surprise triple by Caceres. Mabazza responded with a trey of his own with 49 seconds remaining, and the Shoelanders also failed to score the rest of the way. Daryl Singontiko then added a free throw as insurance for Pateros and for the final score.
Manila (112) –– Yu 31, Yeo 24, Mallari 17, Acibar 10, Cruz 9, Orquina 9, Quiminales 6, Manalo 2, Martinez 2, Tubera 2, Matignas 0, Luke 0
Valenzuela (98) –– Natividad 33, Chua 12, Rivera 11, Martin 11, Tayongtong 10, Viana 8, Esplana 7, Luz 4, Gamboa 2.
Quarterscores: 31-9, 55-47, 81-70, 112-98.
San Juan (101) – Acol 19, Dada 18, Rosopa 16, Astrero 11, Magbanua 10, Paras 9, Elarmo 8, Saret 8, Clarianes 2, Danao 0, Corpuz 0
Isang Pateros (90) – Gerero 27, Quinga 16, Mabazza 14, Navarro 13, Lopez 8, Ilac 4, Mercado 4, Pacleb 3, Brojan 1, Cruz 0, Go 0, Bernabe 0
Quarterscores: 21-29, 49-50, 78-68, 101-90
Quezon City (100) – Tabi 31, Abarcar 15, Gomez De Liano 11, Riva 10, Comia 10, Udjan 8, Macaballug 6, Salazar 6, Estoce Jr. 3, Nava 0
Parañaque (80) – Encela 18, Partosa 16, Rodriguez 13, Villareal 8, Dalaten 7, Elorde 5, Indoy 4, Danac 4, Gusi 3, Flores 2, Labog 0, Custodio 0
Quarterscores: 29-16, 59-33, 79-61, 100-80.
Isang Pateros (89) – Gerero 26, Singontiko 16, Quinga 15, Lopez 14, Ilac 8, Mabazza 3, Navarro 3, Pacleb 2, Brojan 2, Cruz 0, Mercado 0.
Marikina (87) – Mendoza 22, Munsayac 21, Caceres 21, Anderson 11, Castillo 8, Catipay 2, Gervacio 2, Vicencio 0.
Quarterscores: 27-15, 54-37, 74-68, 89-87.
Caloocan (86) — Enriquez 28, Perez 10, Bauzon 8, Torrado 8, Pacheco 7, De Mesa 7, Ligon 6, Coquia 6, Principe 3, Sombero 2, Mayuyo 2, Tamayo 0.
San Juan (84) — Dada 23, Rosopa 13, Acol 9, Elarmo 7, Magbanua 7, Astrero 6, Jagunap 5, Saret 4, Corpuz 3, Osorio 3, Casabar 2, Paras 2, Danao 0.
Quarterscores: 20-27, 43-33, 51-31, 75-75, 85-84.
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