Joseph Sedurifa caught fire in overtime, lifting Makati-Super Crunch to a 78-75 victory over second-ranked Manila-Frontrow to advance to the 2020 Chooks-to-Go MPBL North Finals, Friday at the San Andres Sports Complex.
Sedurifa fired three triples in the extra period to give Makati a 78-73 advantage.
Chris Bitoon still managed to pull Manila to within three off a basket from underneath with 13.5 seconds left. Sedurifa then committed a five-second inbound violation on the other end, giving the Stars one last chance to salvage a victory.
But Aris Dionosio pulled up from deep off a broken play only to badly miss, marking the end of Manila’s campaign.
“Savior. It’s the right word for Joseph [Sedurifa], he’s the savior of our games namin ng Makati. From Bulacan and everything, so Joseph talaga,” said Makati head coach Beajuing Acot on Sedurifa’s clutch triples.
Makati still had the chance to snatch the game in regulation. Unfortunately, a potential game-winning triple from Joshua Torralba was ruled out by the officials.
The Super Crunch-backed squad clawed back from a 0-1 series deficit to claim the last seat in the division finals at the expense of a powerhouse Manila side.
Jong Baloria spearheaded Makati’s offensive attack with 16 points on top of six rebounds and two assists.
Sedurifa, who poured nine points in overtime, finished the game with 12 points, five rebounds, four blocks, and three assists. Meanwhile, Torralba had 11 markers and seven boards.
Manila was led by Chris Bitoon who had 16 points, eight rebounds, and six assists laced with six turnovers.
Dionosio tallied 15 points on 5-of-17 shooting along with nine rebounds and four blocks. Mark Dyke had a double-double of 15 and 10 in a losing cause.
The Frontrow-backed squad missed Carlo Lastimosa, who pulled his right hamstring in the first quarter.
Makati will face San Juan-Go for Gold in the best-of-three division finals.
Makati-Super Crunch (78) — Baloria 16, Sedurifa 12, Torralba 11, Ablaza 9, Lingganay 8, Villanueva 7, Importante 6, Apinan 4, Atkins 3, Cruz 2.
Manila-Frontrow (75) — Bitoon 16, Dyke 15, Dionisio 15, Arellano 8, Go 8, Espinas 5, Abrigo 4, Matias 2, Gabriel 2, Lopez 0, Montilla 0, Lastimosa 0
Quarterscores: 18-23, 39-33, 54-56, 67-67, 78-75
Story by Jonash Dannug
Photos by Thel Suliva