MANILA – Manuel L. Quezon University improved its playoff chances with a convincing 73-67 triumph over Philippine Christian University in continuing play from the National Collegiate Basketball League (NCBL) Thursday (August 13) at the TIP-Manila Gym. The Stallions improved to 3-4 and broke out of their tie with the Dolphins who now tote a 2-5 card.
The Stallions of Coach Jino Manansala nearly squandered their 19-point lead, 56-37, as the Dolphins rallied to close the gap entering the final period, 47-58. Michael Ayonayon and Dexter Mescullado combined for the first seven points of the fourth and PCU threatening, 54-58.
“This win is a big boost because we might face PCU in the playoffs and we proved that we can beat them,” said Coach Manansala. The Stallions lost by the slimmest of margins to the Dolphins, 70-71, last August 1 at the same venue.
Carlou Lloren and Mescullado traded baskets but back-to-back field goals by Christopher Bitoon and John Ambulodto signaled MLQU’s breakaway. The defense then held PCU sans a field goal and Nikko Lao and Ambulodto delivered more crucial hits capped by two Bitoon free throws that restored MLQU’s twin digit lead with 50 ticks remaining, 71-60.
Bitoon led all scorers with 18 points and was named as the Freego Best Player of the Game. Despite arriving in the second period, Ambulodto made up for lost time and pumped in 16 points.
Ayonayon was the high man for the Dolphins of Coach Elvis Tolentino with 16 markers. Von Tambeling followed with 15.
How They Scored:
MANUEL L. QUEZON (73) – Bitoon 18, Ambulodto 16, Lao 11, Santos 8, Rivera 5, Villegas 5, Balidoy 5, Lloren 3, Pangan 2, Ignacio 0, Maglangcom 0.
PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (67) – Ayonayon 16, Tambeling 15, Mescullado 9, Sazon 8, Dangca 8, Vasquez 4, Bautista 3, Pallatao 2, Jacinto 2, Leron 0, Catipay 0.
Period Scores: 21-20, 38-30, 58-47, 73-67.