PHILIP Manalang hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to carry Basilan Jumbo Plastic Medical Depot to a pulsating 83-80 overtime victory over Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards and the championship in the MPBL Invitational on Thursday.
The 5-foot-10 guard got open from the top of the arc from a Michael Juico inbounds pass with 1.9 seconds left and his only basket of the match turned ou to be the game-winner that capped Basilan's perfect run in the pocket tournament.
Basilan completes double
Manalang's basket of the game couldn't have come at a better time as the reigning VisMin Super Cup champions added another hardware to their trophy case at the end of a thrilling game at the Mall of Asia Arena.
His heroics also earned him the Finals MVP plum despite just posting three points, six assists, and two rebounds.
Encho Serrano led the balanced attack for Basilan with 15 points and nine rebounds as three other players scored in double figures.
Jay Collado tallied 15 points, seven assists, and five boards, Jonathan Uyloan shot five treys for his 15 points off the bench, and Juico got 15 points, five rebounds, and two assists while overcoming cramps from the fourth quarter on.
Manalang's winner allowed Basilan to take home the P2-million cash prize, while relegating Nueva Ecija for the P500,000 prize for the runner-up.
More importantly, it allowed Basilan to survive the superb performance from MVP Michael Mabulac, who had 24 points and 11 rebounds in the finale.
Justin Gutang chimed in 13 points, seven boards, and three dimes, while Renz Palma had 11 points, seven rebounds, and three assists in the loss for Nueva Ecija.
BASILAN 83 -- Collado 15, Serrano 15, Uyloan 15, Juico 15, Taganas 9, Reyes 6, Bringas 4, Manalang 3, Siruma 1, Gimpayan 0, Gabo 0.
NUEVA ECIJA 80 -- Mabulac 24, Gutang 13, Palma 11, Villarias 10, Balucanag 5, Sarao 4, Gozum 4, Bitoon 3, Dario 3, Sumang 3.
Quarters: 17-20, 35-36, 53-52, 74-74, 83-80.