MANDALUYONG crowned itself the inaugural Metro Basketball Tournament (MBT) 2017 seniors champion.
Cyrus Tabi and Prince Allan Liquinan scored the game's last five points as South champion Mandaluyong brought down North titleholder Quezon City, 69-68, to capture the overall title in the 24-year-olds-and-under tournament Wednesday at the JRU gym.
Tabi completed a three-point play with 55 seconds left and Liquinan hit a short lay-up with 24 seconds remaining as the Tigers erased a 64-68 deficit to complete a two-game sweep of the Stars in the best-of-three title series of the tournament organized by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) thru the Metro Manila Sportsfest and supported by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
With the win, the Tigers, mentored by former PBA player Johnedel Cardel, also completed a 10-game sweep of the two-month tourney which has Mobile App ng Bayan Barangay 143 as presentor, my|phone “Bida ang Pinoy” as official mobile phone, Spalding as official ball, and Synergy 88, San Miguel Corp., World Balance, Higer Bus and One World Music and Sports Inc. as major sponsors.
"We're very happy to win the title. The boys deserved it," said Cardel, ably assisted by Albert Olaya.
“Our players really didn’t want a Game 3 anymore so they refused to give up even when we were down by four in the endgame. Icing on the cake na lang talaga yung sweep,” added Cardel, also joined in the awarding ceremony by Mandaluyong Sports Development head Noel “Big Daddy” Bernardo, Jimmy Isidro of the Mandaluyong City Mayor’s office, and other Tigers supporters and fans in the game held for the first time in their home turf.
MBT commissioner and PBA legend Pido Jarencio, tournament director Bonnie Tan, Synergy 888 managing director Jackielyn Chua, Proline Sports Center (Spalding exclusive distributor) Vice President Joven Babaan, and my|phone marketing executive Lanie Montano awarded the championship and runner-up trophies along with a couple of player awards right after the nip-and-tuck game that had 17 lead changes and 11 deadlocks. .
Tabi finished with a team-high 16 points, which came with eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. He was awarded Most Valuable Player honors of the tourney which is also supported by Excellent Noodles, Nature’s Spring Water, 1-Pacman Partylist, Hopewell Sales Corp., Star Bread, Frabelle Foods, Regan Industrial Sales, Inc., Glitter.ph, Alcoplus and Archie’s Bespoke Bar + Grill.
Also key for the Tigers was All-Star Game MVP Sandy Ceñal who had a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Jonathan Boholano did the same with 11 markers and 14 boards.
Liquinan added 10 points, capped by that game-clinching layup on an assist by Jaime Senires.
Tabi was joined in the Mythical Five by Ceñal and Liquinan, and Quezon City standouts Jefferson Comia and Mikhael Justin Salazar.
The Stars’ were led by Roque Estoce, who finished with a game-high 22 points built around a 4-for-6 three-point shooting, though he was held to only two points in the second half.
Comia added 12 points, but missed what could have been a game-winning basket for the Stars at the buzzer.
It was a sorry ending for Quezon City, the North Division champion, which was able to keep the game close this time around, even leading 11-4 in the opening five and a half minutes and taking a 68-64 lead on a basket by Jesus Asuncion in the final with 88 seconds
But the Stars went scoreless the rest of the way, missing their last three field goal attempts -- two from three-point range -- while watching Mandaluyong make the last five points for the come-from-behind win.
Mandaluyong (69) -- Tabi 16, Cenal 12, Boholano 11, Liquinan 10, Senires 10, Manalac 7, Dada 2, Reyes1, Tilos 0.
Quezon City (68) -- Estoce 22, Comia 12, Cortez 8, Salazar 7, Udjan 6, Asuncion 4, Mahari 3, Antipuesto 2, Barraquias 2, Padigdig 2, Villacorta 0, Nebre 0.
Quarterscores: 14-13; 41-41; 56-55; 69-68.