Manila-Frontrow squeaked past Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines, 74-71, Monday in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season at the San Andres Sports Complex.
Trailing 70-71 with less than a minute to go in the game, a scramble for the loose ball occurred. Manila ended up with the possession.
Chris Bitoon then drove to the basket and threw it up to Aris Dionisio for the alley-oop layup. Bitoon then added two freebies in the next possession to gain a 74-71 cushion.
With a chance to send the game to overtime, Zamboanga went to marksman Anton Asistio, but his three-point attempt went wide while time expired.
“Malaking bagay na naipanalo namin ito kasi malakas ang Zamboanga, kayang-kaya kaming talunin. Tinreat namin itong [parang] playoff game na eh,” said Manila head coach Tino Pinat.
Jollo Go and Chris Bitoon spearheaded the Stars’ offense with 14 points apiece, conniving for five triples.
Mark Dyke had a field day and finished with 13 markers, 13 boards, three assists, and a steal. Meanwhile, ex-pro Marvin Hayes got 12 points.
The Stars finished the eliminations with a 25-5 win-loss record. They will enter their quarterfinals match-up with Pasig armed with a five-game winning streak.
On the other hand, Alvin Pasaol and Leonard Santillan dropped 14 points apiece. The Family’s Brand Sardines-backed squad slipped to 18-12, tied with Iloilo for fifth and sixth spots in the South.
With the loss, Batangas-Tanduay has clinched fourth seed in the same division, which holds a homecourt advantage in the quarterfinals.
Manila-Frontrow 74 – Bitoon 14, Go 14, Dyke 13, Hayes 12, Dionisio 9, Abrigo 6, Matias 4, Lee 2, Arellano 0, Camacho 0, Tallo 0, Gabriel 0.
Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines 71 – Pasaol 14, Santillan 14, Asistio 12, Rono 7, Bonsubre 6, Black 5, Arboleda 5, Reyes 3, Thiele 3, Manzo 2, Villamor 0.
Quarterscores: 25-14, 38-34, 57-56, 74-71.
Story by Justin Valencia
Photo by Nicks Hernandez
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