The Misamis Oriental Meteors squandered a huge 24-point lead and eventually lost a thrilling 92-85 overtime game to Cobra Energy Drink in the Tournament of the Philippines Finals Game of the second leg at the Lagao Gym in General Santos City.
The Meteors appeared headed for an easy victory when they cruised to an 18-0 lead before sitting on a 47-23 edge less than two minutes left in the first half.
But the Ironmen, egged on by the local crowd, clawed their way back inch by inch behind their torrid shooting that forced an extra period.
Pari Llagas made sure his teammates’ comeback effort won’t be put to waste as he scored several clutch baskets in overtime as the Asia Brewery franchise completed the rousing win and gain an additional 10-point bonus for ruling the leg.
In all, Cobra accumulated 12 points to trail league-leader and first leg winner M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala Cebu by three points in this tournament jointly organized by the Philippine Basketball League and Liga Pilipinas.
Llagas finished with 20 points along with eight rebounds. Peejay Barua had the same number of points while JR Tecson added 14 points on a perfect 4-for-4 from rainbow country.
Adjudged as the Most Valuable Player of this leg, Elmer Espiritu scored just six points but had seven assists and three blocks while Rudy Lingganay, the leg’s Best Assists awardee, had seven points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Barua and Tecson combined to hit six of the team’s 10 treys in the fourth quarter alone as the Ironmen erased a 77-67 deficit with 2:59 to go to tie the game.
Ronald Lamocha hit a putback, 23 ticks left to put MisOr back in front but Espiritu slid a pass to Llagas off big man Mark Andaya to even things up at 79-all and eventually force the five-minute extension.
COBRA 92 — Llagas 20, Barua 20, Tecson 14, Bagatsing 11, Lingganay 7, Espiritu 6, Canizares 6, Nabong 4, Acuna 3, Afable 1, Simpson 0.
MISOR 85 — Cabahug 19, Misa 15, Andaya 14, Daa 12, Raneses 10, Lamocha 8, Moreno 4, Tagupa 2, Butel 1, Saldua 0.
Quarters: 12-24; 30-47; 50-68; 79-79 (reg); 92-85 (OT).