Dan Natividad carried Taguig to the playoffs, escaping the upset-looking Mindoro, 87-85, Sunday in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go NBL Chairman’s Cup at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Tied at 85 with the shot clock off, Natividad took it all by himself. He stepped in to a mid-range jumper and drained it calmly with just 1.9 seconds to go.
The Disiplinados threw the ball to halfcourt but it was tapped by a General to clinch a spot in the post-season at 6-3, tied with Muntinlupa and Bulacan for third.
Before that game-winner, it was all buckets down the stretch for both squads.
Taguig’s Harvey Subrabas started the basket trading with a triple at the 2:45 mark of the payoff period before Dwight Garcia answered with his own version, 83-83.
Natividad then made a jumper inside the last minute then Mindoro’s Luigi Natada retaliated with a drive to the basket for another deadlock, 85-85, with 23.1 seconds left, which set up the walkway for Natividad to become the hero the Generals needed.
Fidel Castro topscored for Taguig with 22 points while LJ Mayo notched a double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Natividad tallied 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting while Richmond Gilbero also had the same scoring output.
Natada led Mindoro with 22 points and nine assists while Don Huerto added 21 points on a high 8-of-10 shooting.
Garcia and JJ Caspe each fired 14 points apiece while Rodel Vaygan was held to just eight points in 39 minutes.
At the 3:03 mark of the third quarter, Disiplinados’ Aga Bernal and Generals’ Kevin Oliveria were each slapped with flagrant foul penalty two and were both ejected.
This was caused by Bernal throwing a closed fist to Oliveria after a rebound play that saw the latter elbowing the former to the neck.
Mindoro finished the season at ninth behind a 3-7 standing.
Taguig 87 – Castro 22, Mayo 11, Gilbero 10, Natividad 10, Santos 8, Lontoc 8, Subrabas 6, Sampurna 5, Tancioco 3, Oliveria 2, Yasa 2, Alcantara 0, Pumaris 0.
Mindoro 85 – Natada 22, Huerto 21, Caspe 14, Garcia 14, Vaygan 8, Bernal 6, Alulod 0, Gadon 0, Axalan 0, Sadicon 0.
Quarterscores: 18-21, 32-39, 62-61, 87-85.