Behind Carlo Lastimosa’s efficient offensive outing, Manila-Frontrow eked out a thin 91-88 victory over Pasig-Sta. Lucia to bag Game One of their 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Season best-of-three quarterfinals series at the San Andres Sports Complex, Tuesday.
Lastimosa was one of only two who hit the double-digit mark in scoring for the Stars. He finished the game with 23 points on 71.4-percent shooting from the field.
Down by twelve points, Pasig’s Marc Tamayo and Jeric Teng kick-started an 8-0 offensive strike to trim Manila’s lead to four points, 83-87, with 35 ticks left.
Gabby Espinas then drained a couple of charities to restore order for the Stars. Josan Nimes followed with a layup to cut the lead back down to four.
Gian Abrigo then went 2-of-2 from the line to ice the game for good.
“‘Yung mental toughness talaga ng mga players, pinakita nila na kahit push comes to shove, nandoon sila,” said Manila head coach Tino Pinat.
Espinas chipped in 11 points, four rebounds, and two assists, while Abrigo and Jollo Go both had nine points for Manila.
On the other hand, Teng poured in 30 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for Pasig.
Nimes had 19 points, while Leo Najorda ended up with 18 markers and seven boards in a losing cause.
Manila will look to wrap up the series while Pasig will try and extend it on February 22, at the Makati Coliseum.
Manila-Frontrow (91) — Lastimosa 23, Espinas 11, Abrigo 9, Go 9, Hayes 8, Dyke 7, Matias 6, Gabriel 5, Dionisio 4, Montilla 3, Bitoon 2.
Pasig-Sta. Lucia (88) — Teng 30, Nimes 19, Najorda 18, Manalang 11, Gotladera 6, Tamayo 4, Grealy 0, Chavenia 0, Velchez 0, Mendoza 0, Canon 0
Quarterscores: 19-26, 54-50, 72-68, 91-88
Story by Jonash Dannug
Photos by Thel Suliva