Gen San halts Davao Occi’s streak in thrilling MPBL finish

JUST in the nick of time, Gen San was able to change its fortunes and got back on track in the MPBL Datu Cup.

John Orbeta turned garbage into gold as he delivered the winning putback at the buzzer, allowing the Warriors to pull off a thrilling 84-83 win and snapping the Davao Occidental Tigers’ 13-game winning streak Wednesday night at the Valenzuela Astrodome.

Orbeta was having one of his worst games, but he immediately erased it by becoming the hero in the Warriors’ latest triumph.

“Siguro that was the luckiest shot I’ve taken,” Orbeta told FOX Sports Philippines. “I cannot explain it, but all I know, masama talaga laro ko and I was just happy enough to deliver that lucky shot.”

Gen San head coach Ramon Pido could only agree with his player’s observation.

“It was a broken play. Nadampot lang talaga ni Orbeta and he was able to make the shot at the right time. We’re just lucky,” added Pido.

Gen San was able to pull off an escape win in the longest 1.3 seconds ever played.

Mark Yee, who missed two crucial free throws earlier that could have sealed the win for the Tigers, was sent to the foul line for another pair of charity shots. He missed his first free throw, then decided to deliberately miss the second to avoid Gen San from calling a time out.

Unfortunately, his shot didn’t hit the rim, an automatic violation, allowing the Warriors to call a time out and advance the ball to mid-court.

That allowed Gen San to map up a play. A designed alley oop play for Marlon Basco didn’t materialize off an inbound play, but the ball hit the backboard and fortunately landed on Orbeta, who had the presence of mind to put up a shot right away to beat the buzzer, sending the entire Gen San squad in a frenzy and shocking Davao Occidental, whose 13-game winning streak was snapped.

Davao Occidental suffered its fourth loss in 19 games, but continued to stay on top of the southern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.

Gen San improved its card to 9-9 and moved up to solo fifth in the south.
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