Pasig-Sta. Lucia held Caloocan to just three points in the fourth to run away with an 87-60 victory in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational powered by TM, Friday afternoon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Entering the fourth quarter up by just two, 59-57, the Realtors stepped on the gas hard. They then put up a 28-0 blast for an 87-57 advantage with 35 ticks left in the game.
Joseph Peñaredondo then put the Excellence on the board through a trey with 24 seconds remaining.
“Yung muntik na silang hindi maka-score nung fourth quarter, actually hindi ko alam yun,” admitted Realtors head coach Bong Dela Cruz.
“Basta ang pini-preach ko lagi sa mga players is to play defense. Hanggat ‘di tapos yung 24 seconds na shot clock and wala sa amin yung bola, let’s continue playing defense. Narinig ko lang kanina sa mga coaches na hindi pa sila umii-score ng fourth quarter. So ayun, naka-shoot sila, pero wala na tayong magagawa dun,” he added.
Allen Mina scored a game-high 16 points, including five triples, to go along with five rebounds, two assists, and two steals for Pasig.
Justin Arana collected 14 points, 12 rebounds, and three steals while Fran Yu scattered 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, and four steals.
Pasig closed in on one of the two quarterfinals seat in Pool A with a perfect 3-0 standing. On the other hand, Caloocan dropped to 1-3 to fall out of contention.
Leading the Mon Mabayo-less Excellence is Damian Lasco with 13 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Jomar Santos added 11 points and six boards. Pao Javillonar was held to just seven rebounds and nine assists.
Bacolod is at 3-1 in Pool A followed by Iloilo (2-1), Bacoor (1-2), and Negros (0-3)
Pasig will take on Bacolod next tomorrow, Saturday at 9:30 AM. Meanwhile, Caloocan will have Iloilo as its next assignment on Sunday at 4:00 PM.
Pasig (87) – Mina 16, Arana 14, Yu 13, Lingganay 10, Teng 8, Apinan 7, Ablaza 6, Bautista 6, Peña 3, Costelo 2, Caralipio 2.
Caloocan (60) – Lasco 13, Santos 11, Peñaredondo 9, Javillonar 7, Matias 7, Pacquiao 5, Gil 3, Escobal 3, Esguerra 2, Rosagas 0, Raflores 0.
Quarterscores: 14-24, 42-41, 59-57, 87-60