Jumbo Plastic rides Arafat heroics to clip Sta. Lucia in OT in PCBL semis opener
Moustapha Arafat being interviewed after his Game One heroics. Reuben Terrado

MALOLOS—Moustapha Arafat had 16 points including the game-tying basket with 4.5 seconds in regulation as Jumbo Plastic Linoleum beat Sta. Lucia, 94-89, in overtime on Sunday to grab a 1-0 lead in their PCBL Chairman’s Cup semifinal series.

Arafat, a former University of the East cager, also scored seven in the extra session to complete his heroics, moving the Giants within a win of wrapping up the best-of-three semifinal series and reaching the finals.

Jumbo Plastic, which nearly squandered leads of as much as 19 points, goes for a sweep on Wednesday at the Marikina Sports Center.

The Giants were ahead 35-16 in the second period, only to allow the Realtors to come back and seize the upper hand.

But Sta. Lucia failed to hold on to an 81-74 advantage in the last two minutes of regulation, with Arafat scoring the basket that sent the game into overtime.

“Naging complacent,” rued Jumbo Plastic coach Stevenson Tiu. “We were up by 19, we played relaxed. Sa playoff game, hindi puwedeng relaxed kahit isang second. Buti naka-recover kami.”

Off a turnover, Arafat scored on a basket but missed the bonus free throw that could've won the game outright for Jumbo. Stephen Siruma missed a triple at the buzzer.

Arafat tied the game at 86 in the extra period before Siruma and Jay-R Taganas made it 90-86 with 59.5 seconds.

Jeff Vidal scored 14 including eight in the third for the Realtors, who entered the fourth with a 66-61 lead.

The scores:

Jumbo Plastic (94) — Arafat 16, Martinez 14, Lopez 12, Taganas 11, Arellano 9, Siruma 9, Viernes 7, Eguilos 5, Bitoon 5, Santos 4, Perez 2, Ibay 0.

Sta. Lucia (89) — Vidal 14, Bautista 12, Javelona 12, Salado 11, Camasura 11, Sanjo 10, Bangga 7, Escosio 4, Ilagan 4, Castanarez 2, Jamito 2.

Quarters: 26-14, 47-36, 61-66, 81-81, 94-89.

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