MANDALUYONG CITY – Manuel L. Quezon University survived a big rally from AMA University to pick up another victory, 89-82, at the 16th National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) at the Rizal Technological University Gym Wednesday evening (September 14). The Stallions saw their once 19-point lead, 74-55, melt away but it was enough foundation as time was not on the Titans’ side.
MLQU’s stacked guard rotation of Christopher Bitoon, Jeymark Mallari, Gianne Rivera, Daryl Aurelio and forward Nikko Lao took turns at building their big lead. Suddenly, the Titans awoke with Miguel Magpantay and Jason Riley sparking their fourth period push that saw them cut the deficit to only four markers entering the final two minutes.
Bitoon and Lao connected on pressure-packed shots to preserve the win for the Stallions. MLQU improved to 5-3 and moved into a triple tie with Our Lady of Fatima University and Philippine Christian University for Fourth to Sixth Place.
Lao got the nod as Best Player with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Bitoon went scoreless in the opening period but still topped the Stallions with 20 points.
Magpantay had a career game of 29 points but the effort went to naught. Jezer Calma supported him with 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Titans temporarily moved out of the Top Eight and the playoff picture with their sixth loss to show against three wins.
How They Scored:
MANUEL L. QUEZON (89) – Bitoon 20, Lao 19, Mallari 17, Rivera 9, Pangan 6, Padua 4, Aurelio 9, Baliday 3, Ignacio 2, de la Cruz 0.
A M A (82) – Magpantay 29, Calma 16, Riley 12, Jordan 11, Ortega 10, Macaranas 2, Salonga 2, de Guzman 0, Pippin 0, Carpio 0, Quijano 0.
Period Scores: 19-16, 50-35, 72-54, 89-82.