MANDALUYONG CITY – Domark Matillano gave Philippine Christian University a dose of its own medicine as his corner triple with four seconds to play proved to be the game winner for Philippine Merchant Marine School, 81-80, in continuing action from the 16th N81-80ational Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) at the Rizal Technological University Gym Friday (September 16). The Mariners thus extended their winning streak to three games while keeping their playoff hopes alive.
After a quick timeout, Von Tambeling tried to snatch the victory but his drive to the basket missed, triggering the PMMS celebration. It was a fitting ending after the Mariners squandered a commanding 13-point lead early in the fourth period, 63-50.
Fidel Castro, who hit a similar game winning triple two days ago that lifted the Dolphins over RTU, began their comeback by hitting a triple and Tambeling and Ayonayon found the hoop as they managed to tie the game several times before finally taking the lead on a steal and breakaway layup by Chri Malto with 1:50 to play, 78-76. Ayonayon and Jess Quilatan swapped baskets, 80-78, but Tambeling missed a jumper that led to Matillano’s clutch shot.
The Mariners took advantage of the Dolphins struggles from the three-point line in the first half to build a slight 32-28 lead. Reggie Debulcos, Jake Yagonia and Matillano then pumped in the big points in the third as PMMS threatened to break the game wide open entering the final period, 60-50.
Matillano earned his second Best Player award in the last three games with 19 points, four rebounds and four assists on five of 12 shooting from three-point land. Debulcos paced the Mariners with 10 of his 22 points in the third period.
After scoring only two points in the first half and bucking early foul trouble, Ayonayon finished wth 21 points and nine rebounds. Yves Sazon also had 21 points and nine rebounds but was limited to only two points in the last period.
The Mariners evened their win-loss record to 4-4 and moved to Ninth Place, just one slot away from the playoffs. The Dolphins saw their two-game winning streak come to an end but remained within the eight-team playoff circle with five wins in nine games.
How They Scored:
P M M S (81) – Debulcos 22, Matillano 19, Quilatan 10, Margaja 9, Antonares 9, Yagonia 8, Bernardo 2, Villamayor 2, Regero 0.
PHILIPPINE CHRISTIAN (80) – Sazon 21, Ayonayon 21, Castro 16, Tambeling 10, Pallatao 5, Malto 5, Mescallado 2, Vasquez 0, Bautista 0, Yasa 0.
Period Scores: 12-13, 32-28, 60-50, 81-80.