Host Misamis Oriental and M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala Cebu used their experience to the hilt in pulling off similar hard-earned overtime victories in the 8th leg of the Tournament of the Philippines at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City.
The Niños survived a horrendous 2-of-16 shooting in the fourth period with Ian Sangalang and Stephen Padilla bailing their team out of trouble and carrying Cebu to a tense 91-87 overtime victory over Ascof Lagundi.
“We were just lucky. Ian and Stephen made the big shots and we just got the breaks when needed,” said Cebu coach Raul Alcoseba.
Patrick Cabahug fired back-to-back triples in overtime as the Meteors upstaged Hobe Bihon-Taguig, 75-69.
Taguig was on the verge of completing a win, but a crucial offensive goaltending called on Ariel de Castro on Eder Saldua’s lay up denied Taguig of an outright win in regulation. Regulation ended at 67-all.
De Castro tried to atone for his big miscue with a transition lay-up for a 69-68 Taguig lead, but Cabahug got his rhythm back and nailed back-to-back treys to push his team to a 74-69 lead — and the victory.
“It was a difficult win for us. But the good thing is, we were able to show to everyone that the player really wanted to win,” said coach Jun Noel.
The win was the second straight for Cebu and MisOr to seal another leg finals showdown set this Friday.
Cabahug finished with 25 points, built around five triples, while Saldua added 15 and Ramil Tagupa 11 for the Meteors, who completed the victory despite a poor game from ace forward Neil Raneses.
Raneses was held down to only eight points on 3-of-12 shooting.