Manila, Makati advance to semis
The Manila Stars and Makati Super Crunch qualified for the 2019/2020 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup semifinals last Saturday at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center in Bulacan. Manila pulled off a narrow 82-80 win over Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors while Makati scored an 86-78 victory over Bulacan Kuyas.
The Metro Manila-based teams join the San Juan Knights and the Pampanga Giant Lanterns in the Northern Division semifinals.
With the Stars holding to an eight-point edge with less than a minute left in the game, the Sta. Lucia Realtors cut their deficit to 82-80 with 22.5 seconds left following back-to-back triples by Robbie Manalang. Manila were unable to secure the win after Chris Bitoon missed two free throws but defense applied against Jeric Teng and Argel Mendoza helped pull off the escape.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, after nung three-point shots ni Manalang, stay composed, huwag mag-panic at nandoon pa rin dapat ang depensa (I told them, after Manalang’s three-pointers, stay composed, don’t panic, and the defense will be there,” said Manila head coach Tino Pinat.
Carlo Lastimosa led the Stars with 21 points; Bitoon delivered 19 markers, seven rebounds, and six assists; Aris Dionisio scored 14 points and eight boards; and Mark Dyke chipped in 13 markers and 10 rebounds.
Despite the loss, Teng paced Pasig with a double-double on 25 points and 10 boards, while Josan Nimes also added a double-double with 21 markers and 10 rebounds.
Meanwhile, Joshua Torralba and Cedric Ablaza led Makati in their after tallying 22 markers apiece./ASC, WDJ