Triple OT Thriller: Makati nips Zamboanga in battle of MPBL biggies

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IN the battle between two heavyweight teams, Makati kept its eyes wide open until the final buzzer sounded while Zamboanga-Family’s  Brand Sardines blinked in the final minute.

The Super Crunch held their rivals scoreless in the final minute of the third overtime on their way to preserving a 111-106 triumph in the MPBL Lakan Season at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City Wednesday night.

Defense has always been Makati’s calling card.Against the explosive Zamboanga squad, Makati banked on making big stops.

In between those defensive stops, veterans Joseph Sedurifa and Juneric Baloria presided over on the team’s offense, allowing the Super Crunch to notch their seventh straight win and climb to solo second spot of the tough northern division.

Sedurifa completed a three-point play in the last 51 seconds that shattered the game’s final deadlock and put the Super Crunch ahead, 109-106.

After forcing Robin Roño to miss a three-pointer at the return play, Baloria presided on Makati’s next offensive thrust and drew a foul Antonio Asistio.

Baloria took care of the two charity shots and delivered the potential game-winning free throws with only 11 seconds to go.

Now the hottest team in the third season of the fastest growing regional amateur basketball league, the Super Crunch improved their win-loss record to 17-3.

Cholo Villanueva, the amiable coach of Makati, deflected all the credit to his players, who didn’t show signs of slowing down.

Playing 55 minutes of the tough, nail-biting encounter, Makati didn’t veer away from its defensive schemes and continued to put the pressure on Zamboanga, which saw its four-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 12-9 slate.

“They continued to stay on our defensive schemes. They were not complaining and they were able to keep the energy until the final buzzer. It’s a tribute to the kind of conditioning we have and I’d like to praise my players for that,” said Makati coach Cholo Villanueva.

Villanueva admitted that his players were psyched up to play their A-game against an up and coming team like Zamboanga, which made key acquisitions during the trading period that landed them some of the best and talented players in the league like Alvin Pasaol, Leonard Santillan, Anton Asistio, Aaron Black, Denice Villamor, and Hans Thiele among others.

“Of course, the players were challenged. They felt they were up against one of the crack teams in the MPBL and they were determined to give their best,” added Villanueva. “This is a good character win for us. Victories such as this one will help us in the long run, particularly nearing the playoff stretch.”