MARIKINA CITY – Jeff Alvin Viernes and James Martinez made sure that they will play a game this Friday. The high-scoring duo combined for 31 points each as Jumbo Plastic nipped Mighty Sports in overtime, 89-87, and take the best-of-three championship for the 2016 Pilipinas Commercial Basketball League (PCBL) Chairman’s Cup to a deciding game.
Viernes tied the count by sinking two pressure-packed free throws with two seconds left off an Allan Mangahas foul, 80-80. Kiefer Ravena then missed a desperation heave thus setting the stage for the overtime.
In the overtime, Jayson Ibay completed a three-point play off Mark Bringas to give Jumbo Plastic a relatively big 89-85 cushion with 56 ticks remaining. Ibay, forced to play after teammates Jaymo Eguilos, Jay-R Taganas and Allan Santos fouled out in succession, then fouled Bringas who made both his charities to threaten at the 48-second mark, 87-89.
Martinez almost cost Jumbo Plastic the game after he was whistled for an offensive to return the ball to Mighty Sports but Ravena missed another heave from midcourt at the buzzer. Mighty Sports took Game One of the series last Sunday (May 22) in Malolos City, 79-67.
Viernes put the Linoleum Giants on top by six with 1:03 to go in regulation, 78-72. A series of errors and fouls by Jumbo Plastic allowed Mighty Sports to go on an 8-0 run capped by a go-ahead triple from Ravena with 12 seconds on the clock, 79-78.
Moustapha Arafat was then spotted for a travelling violation, forcing Martinez to foul Gab Banal and stop the clock. Banal wilted under the pressure and split his gift shots by missing the second and the loose ball quickly sent to the waiting Viernes for his heroics.
The 62 points of Viernes and Martinez is the highest total of any duo and also set personal PCBL highs for both players. Viernes also added four rebounds, six assists and three steals.
The game was marred by a fracas after an irate Bright Akhuetie charged into the Jumbo Plastic dugout complaining that they disrespected him by grabbing at his sensitive areas during the game. Akhuetie was restrained in time by his teammates and venue security.
“The momentum is now on our side and we will go for the championship,” declared Coach Stevenson Tiu. Jumbo Plastic took last year’s PCBL Founders Cup via a two-game sweep of Caida Tiles and a back-to-back is a strong possibility.
Akhuetie was the high man for Mighty Sports with 27 points and 22 rebounds. Ravena played the entire 45-minute game without relief and finished with 18 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Game Three of the series will be on Friday (May 27) at the Marikina Sports Center. Jump ball will be a 6:00 PM.
Earlier, Euro-Med Laboratories took home Third Place after dominating Santa Lucia Realty, 79-71. Euro-Med jumped to a 9-0 start and allowed the Realtors to deadlock the count only once at 35-35.
Jopher Custodio led the way for Euro-Med with 19 points and 10 rebounds while Jeffrey Tajonera and Eric Salamat followed with 12 points each. Nichole Bangga paced the Realtors with 16 while Kent Salado added 15.
How They Scored:
For Third Place
EURO-MED (79) – Custodio 19, Salamat 12, Tajonera 12, Poligrates 11, Almario 7, Alvarez 6, Saitanan 3, Galanza 3, Gil 2, Capacio 2, Parala 2.
SANTA LUCIA (71) – Bangga 16, Salado 15, Bautista 11, Castanarez 8, Jamito 8, Vidal 5, Escosio 4, Javelona 4, Camasura 0, Ilagan 0, Gabriel 0.
Period Scores: 24-20, 39-35, 59-58, 79-71.
JUMBO PLASTIC (89) – Vienes 31, Martinez 31, Ibay 7, Siruma 6, Arafat 5, Santos 4, Taganas 4, Eguilos 1, Lopez 0, Arellano 0.
MIGHTY SPORTS (87) – Akhuetie 27, Ravena 18, Mangahas 12, Celada 8, M. Bringas 8, Banal 6, Montilla 4, Lopez 4, A. Bringas 0, Wongchuking 0.
Period Scores: 16-19, 45-39, 64-57, 80-80 (reg.), 89-87 (OT).