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MPBL: Pasig outlasts Caloocan, forces Game 3

Pasig City MCW Sports outlasted Caloocan, 65-61, at the Caloocan Sports Complex on Friday, October 13 to force a decider in their Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Fifth Season North Division best-of-3 quarterfinals series.

Robbie Manalang poured 23 points including some clutch shots to lead the way for Pasig, which braved the rowdy crowd of the home team to take Game Two and live to fight another day.

Manalang also turned in three steals and two assists while Kenny Rocacurva tallied 16 points, eight rebounds, and two assists in the tightly-contested ball game.

Ryan Costelo added eight markers, three boards, and three assists while Tyron Chan chipped in six points, as Pasig avenged its 69-71 defeat to Batang Kankaloo last Friday in Pampanga.

Robbie Manalang shoots the ball during Game Two of the MPBL North Division Quarterfinals at the Caloocan Sports Complex on Friday, October 13. MPBL PHOTO

Pasig MCW Sports team owner Buddy Encarnado said his team displayed great composure down the stretch, enabling them to hack out the gutsy victory.

“I told the boys that the team (Caloocan) is ahead 1-0, so they have the momentum. Our backs are against the wall. They are a much experienced team, taller and most of all, they have the home court advantage. But the key i told them the key to overcome all of this is playing with poise,” shared Encarnado.

“If you play with poise, you can overcome pressure, your game will come out, your true form will come out. And luckily, the boys heeded my call and responded the way they played in front of a full stadium, 99% of which were from Caloocan.”

With the game tied at 56, Jeramer Cabanag put Caloocan ahead with a layup but Manalang drilled a huge triple to make it 59-58 in favor of Pasig in the last 3:20. Batang Kankaloo's Ronnie Matias was called for an unsportsmanlike foul, with Chan splitting his charities at the 1:58 mark. After a defensive stop, Manalang sank another basket to make it a 62-58 advantage for Pasig with 1:21 to go.

Botched possessions by both teams ultimately led to Costelo sinking a jumper that gave the visitors a 64-58 edge in the last 28 seconds. The host didn't just go quite into the night, though, with Reil Cervantes connecting on a triple to cut down the lead to three at the 19-second mark.

Tonton Peralta split his charities to make it a four-point cushion for Pasig in the last 11 seconds before Cabanag and Cervantes flubbed their respective three-point attempts in the last seconds as the visitors held on for the triumph.

Gabby Espinas paced Caloocan with 10 points and seven rebounds while Matias produced the same amount of points and added six boards. Paul Sanga topscored for the home team with 12 markers.

Pasig and Caloocan clash in a do-or-die Game Three next Friday, October 20 still at the Caloocan Sports Complex, with the winner advancing to the North Division semifinals.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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