Be it the playoffs or the regular season, the Quezon City Capitals had been getting the better of its match up each time against the Makati Super Crunch.
The Wemsap-backed squad fought back from 10 points down in the last five minutes to pull off a come-from-behind 91-85 win in the MPBL Lakan Season Tuesday night at the Blue Eagle Gym in Ateneo.
Dahrell Caranguian, one of the key pick ups by the Capitals this season, provided the spark, while mainstay Joco Tayongtong took over when the game mattered the most to propel Quezon City to yet another inspiring victory over the same team it defeated in last season’s quarterfinal showdown.
“Naniniwala naman ako sa kontrapelo,” said Quezon City coach Vis Valencia. “Actually, we were joking sa locker room kanina na winning streak na naman ang Makati and tayo na naman makakatapat. They were joking around that we’re the Makati Destroyer.”
Their victory was no laughing matter as the Capitals had to grind it out before completing another win and snapped the Super Crunch’s four-game winning run this season.
The feat was quite similar to the one that happened last season when the Super Crunch, on the crest of a 15-game winning streak — which up to now remains the longest streak in the young history of the MPBL — lost to the Capitals in the first game of their best-of-three quarterfinal showdown.
That gave the Capitals the confidence to finish the job as Quezon City marched its way to the semis of the northern conference.
Still in euphoria of that huge upset win was Quezon City, which plotted for several days to come up with a solid game plan against a Makati team that dominated most of the way only to falter down the stretch.
Caranguian served as the spark plug, hitting 20 points and dishing out eight assists. He started the fourth period connecting on a three-point shot, but his hustle and playmaking more than made up for the absence of Aaron Black, who is currently playing for the Mighty Sports team in the William Jones Cup.
Tayongtong also tallied 20 markers, but practically took over in the last five minutes of the match where he unloaded 11 points in a three-minute stretch half way the payoff quarter.
He knotted the count at 84-all then stole the ball in the next play and completed the heist with an unmolested lay up to put the Capitals on the driver’s seat with still 1:16 left in the game.
But it was all Quezon City from there as it held Makati without a field goal the rest of the way.
“We were thinking about Makati for one week. We were playing Pampanga, Iloilo and Makati na napapasok sa usapan. We won over Mindoro, Makati pa rin iniisip namin. They’re really a tough team to beat. I told them not to be distracted in the psychological aspect, but concentrate on our game plan,” added Valencia.