Jumbo Plastic bid for back-to-back titles still alive as James Martinez, Jeff Viernes take charge
James Martinez and the Giants come up huge in a do-or-die game. Freddie Dionisio

JAMES Martinez and Jeff Viernes showed their determination in helping Jumbo Plastic forced a rubber match for the PCBL Chairman’s Cup title.

Martinez and Viernes fired 31 points each as the Linoleum Giants defeated Mighty Sports in Game Two on Wednesday night at the Marikina Sports Center.

Martinez fired 12-of-23 from the field including 6-of-12 from beyond the arc. Viernes, meanwhile, showed nerves of steel, scoring nine in the fourth including two free throws with two seconds left to force an extra period.

The Linoleum Giants went on to win in overtime, 89-87, to arrange a do-or-die title game for the Chairman’s Cup title on Friday, 7 p.m. at the Marikina Sports Center.

Jumbo Plastic coach Stevenson Tiu not only credited Martinez and Viernes but the entire team for showing the heart of the champion.

“I told them that we are the defending champions,” Tiu said. “Kailangan panindigan natin ’yun. We should go fighting hanggang sa last seconds. We proved that in this game.”

The end of Game Two, however, was marred by a commotion at the dugout area when Mighty Sports import Bright Akhuetie came charging at the Jumbo changing room, claiming that someone poked him in the buttocks.

Tiu hopes that the commotion will not affect the series which is becoming a classic for the young commercial league.

“I hope sana it won’t get out of hand. Maganda ‘yung series,” Tiu said.

 

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