Visiting Quezon City frustrated home team Solid San Juan with a close 88-85 squeaker to tighten its hold of the North Division lead in the Metro League Reinforced (Second) Conference Tuesday night at the San Juan Gym.
Gunner Jefferson Comia sank two pressure-packed free throws with 12 seconds left in the game to seal the deal for the Junior Capitals even as Solid San Juan’s King Astrero missed a potential game-tying triple at the buzzer.
Comia finished with 13 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals for QC which improved to 4-2 win-loss slate to stay atop the North Division of the M-League which is under the Metro Manila Sports Fest of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), is backed by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and has Barangay 143 as league presentor.
In the first game, the Taguig Generals of head coach Bing Victoria got back on the winning track after making short work of Pateros-Metro Asia, 108-70, in the most lopsided game thus far in this second conference of the tourney that is also bankrolled by Synergy 88, World Balance, Excellent Noodles and San Miguel Corporation as major sponsors.
JJ Espanola and John Carl Melegrito chipped in 16 and 14 points, respectively while Rod William Vasallo posted 11 markers and 11 boards to provide support for Comia, which resulted in Quezon City’s second straight win despite import Ibrahim Outtara being held scoreless in 12:14 minutes.
On the other hand, Solid San Juan continued to struggle as it fell to 2-4 in the South Division. This was despite another strong 31-point outing of Michael Canete together with the 20 points and 21 rebounds of American import Raymond Miller.
Joshua Saret added 10 points for Solid San Juan but suffered a severe right ankle sprain and left the game permanently after an apparent landing-spot violation by Quezon City’s Francis Abarcar which was missed by the referees with 7:44 left in the game.
Fresh from a slim 77-80 home loss to league-leader Bacoor last Saturday, the Generals vented their ire on hapless Pateros with a quick 45-34 halftime lead.
There was no looking back for Taguig since then as the Generals coasted to an emphatic 38-point victory, breaking the previous largest win margin in the conference which Solid San Juan recorded in the tournament-opening playdate last April 7 ironically also against Pateros-Metro Asia, 102-71.
Import Emmanuel Ojuola uncorked an efficient league conference-high 33 points, 15 rebounds and three assists in just 26 minutes of action to spearhead the Generals who upped their slate to 4-2 and remained at second spot in the South Division of M-League which also has MS Global Technologies, Inc. as official livestream and technology partner, Spalding as official ball, Team Rebel Sports as official outfitter, and PLDT as official internet provider.
Richmond Gilbero and Grevanni Publico scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, while Helino Francisco added 10 to backstop Ojuola in a well-balanced attack by the Generals.
Pateros, meanwhile, slid deeper down the South Division despite the 18 points, five rebounds and three assists of Rickson Gerero.
Reiner Quinga and Alexander Asis also contributed 16 and 12 points, respectively, for Pateros which suffered its fourth loss in six outings in the tourney that is also supported by Gerry’s Grill, Summit Water, Alcoplus, Nature’s Spring and Goodfellow.
Taguig 108 — Ojuola 33, Gilbero 14, Publico 12, Francisco 10, Mayo 10, Uyloan 7, Gozum 7, Sampurna 4, Guiyab 3, Alcantara 3, Orodio 3, Oliveria 2, Subrabas 0
Pateros-Metro Asia 70 — Gerero 18, Quinga 16, Asis 10, Mabazza 8, Anasco 4, Da Silva 3, Go 2, Marcial 2, Pacleb 0, Cruz 0,
Quarterscores: 18-14, 45-34, 70-47, 108-70
QC 88 — Espanola 16, Melegrito 14, Comia 13, Vasallo 11, Asuncion 9, Estoce Jr 8, Abarcar 7, Macaballug 4, Udjan 4, Belosillo 0, Delos Reyes 0, Outtara 0,
Solid San Juan 85 — Canete 31, Miller 20, Saret 10, Astrero 9, Castro 8, Abanes 3, Jacunap 2, Matias 2, Clarianes 0, Danas 0, Dada 0, Elarmo 0
Quarterscores: 18-31, 40-42, 64-59, 88-85