GIO Vergara made the game-winning triple after Leo Devera converted a three to force overtime and San Sebastian came back from five-points down in the final minute of extra period to beat University of the East, 89-87, on Wednesday in the Filoil Flying V Hanes Premier Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
Vergara’s three-pointer—his only basket of the game—came at the 19.4-second mark when he was found by Devera wide open at the left corner to give the Golden Stags an 88-87 lead.
Devera hit his fourth triple in the fourth period with 24.3 seconds remaining to extend the game into overtime.
Down 82-87, Jaymark Perez completed a three-point play with 48.3 seconds to cut the deficit before Vergara’s pivotal basket.
Roi Sumang missed a running shot for UE, then fouled Perez, who despite missing his second free throw with 4.4 seconds left in the extra period had Devera grabbing the offensive rebound to melt the clock away.
San Sebastian improved to 2-2 with the victory.
With San Sebastian centers Bradwyn Guinto and Mark Tano on the bench due to five fouls, Charles Mammie hit the Red Warriors’ next nine points for an 87-82 lead with 1:32 left. But the Stags rallied.
“It all boiled down to who wants it more,” said San Sebastian coach Topex Robinson. “We never gave up. We just played it, battling out with Mammie. It was hard.”
“It was the guys who really played. I wasn’t calling the shots anymore, they just don’t want to quit. It’s a test of character,” said Robinson.
Perez led the Stags with 20 points including 10 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and two blocks. Devera, a Fil-American from Los Angeles, had 20 points. Jovit dela Cruz had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
UE had a 58-50 lead but San Sebastian finished the third period with seven straight points to enter the fourth trailing by just a point, 58-57.
Devera hit a triple, 67-62, but UE was able to tie the game at 69 on a Mario Bonleon deuce to set up the tight game. Sumang’s three-point play with 1:39 left in the fourth gave UE a 78-75 lead before Devera tied the game again.
Sumang and Mammie had 23 points apiece for UE, which dropped to 1-2.
San Sebastian (89) – Perez 20, Devera 20, Dela Cruz 19, Guinto 10, Tano 8, Gusi 6, Vergara 3, Rebellos 2, Balucanag 1.
UE (87) – Sumang 23, Mammie 23, Sumido 14, Javier 12, Bonleon 12, Santos 2, Casajeros 1, Noble 0, Guion 0, Flores 0, De Leon 0, Galanza 0, Olivarez 0.
Quarterscores: 12-20; 33-37; 57-58; 78-78; 89-87.