PASIG CITY – Marinerong Pilipino stretched its winning run to three games thanks to a late basket by John Lopez to lift them over Wang’s Basketball, 83-82, in continuing action from the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena Thursday (July 20). With the Wang’s defense concentrating on their other teammates, Julian Sargent found the suddenly open Lopez underneath the hoop with 27 seconds on the clock for the game-winner.
The duo’s heroics capped another grand escape for the Skippers from as high as 13 points down in the fourth period, 67-80, with team captain Mark Isip and Achie Inigo fuelling their rally. Inigo hit the triple that trimmed the difference to a single point, 82-83, at the 54-second mark and Christopher Bitoon’s jumper sent the ball out of bounds in the ensuing play to set up the dramatic finish.
“It was the grace of God at work and I kept on believing that He will help us even if we were trailing by 13,” declared a very emotional Coach Koy Banal after the game. “We are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel but we still have to respect our remaining opponents the same way we respected the others.”
Isip was a workhorse on both ends of the court with 29 points and nine rebounds. Lopez had 12 points and eight rebounds.
Jun Gabriel had a chance to win the game but his shot at the buzzer missed but still led Wang’s with 19 points and five rebounds. Michael Juico followed with 11 of 17 points in the second half marking his return after being stretchered out of the game late in the second period with a bloodied nose.
Wang’s became the first team to end its elimination round schedule, posting an even 5-5 win-loss card and temporarily hold the sixth and final playoff spot. They lost their last two games and their playoff hopes now hinge on the other teams’ winning or losing.
How They Scored:
MARINERONG PILIPINO (83) – Isip 29, Lopez 12, Alabanza 9, Inigo 8, Sargent 8, Subido 7, Moralde 5, Marata 4, Javelona 1, Javillonar 0.
WANG’S BASKETBALL (82) – Gabriel 19, Juico 17, Herndon 15, Tayongtong 11, Habelito 6, Montemayor 6, Sorela 4, Ambulodto 2, Arambulo 2, Riley 0, Bitoon 0, Dechavez 0.
Period Scores: 12-18, 40-38, 63-69, 83-82.