Quezon City posted back-to-back wins this past week, beating Manila 95-83 last Sunday and erstwhile leader Marikina 89-77 four days later to move within a win of clinching top seed in the North Division in the 2017 Metro Basketball Tournament (MBT) seniors competition classification phase heading into its final week.
The Stars relied on the trio of Jefferson Comia, Julius Lorenzo Barraquias and Roque Estoce Jr., who combined for 57 points in the win over the All-Stars. Comia was even better with 32 points on a 14-of-18 shooting in 33 minutes against the Shoelanders in the tournament organized by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), headed by chairman Danny Lim, in support of President Duterte’s anti-drug campaign through sports.
Quezon City, mentored by John Paul Ycasiano, thus stretched their win streak to four and will top the North Division and advance to the Division semifinals outright with another win over Navotas this Sunday at the Navotas Sports Complex.
Quezon City’s lone setback in five games in the event sponsored by San Miguel Corp., World Balance and Higer Bus came at the hands of San Juan, 91-92, in overtime during the opening day last Sept. 10 on a buzzer-beating triple by John Kenneth Zamora.
Jack Garcia carried the fight for Marikina with 24 points, followed by Raymond Ranzel Casajeros with 15 points and Christian Canicula with 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Shoelanders closed out their elimination round campaign with a 4-2 win-loss record, inclusive of their 76-73 win over Navotas Sunday.
Sharing the limelight was Manila, which bounced back by trouncing Caloocan, 90-72, Thursday to climb to 3-2 in a tie with idle San Juan, after that loss to the QC Stars.
Mark Christian Yu and Kimberly Olmoguiz led another balanced offensive game by Manila, which outscored Caloocan in the final two quarters to win pulling away.
Yu finished with 28 points, six rebounds and seven assists, while Olmoguiz added 18 points and eight rebounds for the All Stars’ victory in the tourney, which also has “Mobile App ng Bayan” Barangay 143 as co-presentor, Synergy 88 as main sponsor, My Phone “Bida ang Pinoy”as official mobile phone and Spalding as official ball.
Prince Jay Martin paced the Supremos with 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists, followed by Lhydex Lagman with a double double of 14 points and 14 rebounds.
In other games this past in the tournament which is also supported by Excellent Noodles, Nature’s Spring Water, 1-Pacman Partylist, Hopewell Sales Corp., Gatorade, Star Bread, Frabelle Foods, Regan Industrial Sales, Inc., Glitter.ph, Alcoplus, Primadonna and Archie’s Bespoke Bar + Grill, Parañaque moved to improve to 3-2 and solo third in the South Division with a 73-67 win over still-winless Taguig, Makati subdued MMDA 88-76, Valenzuela upset San Juan in OT 89-85 and, Pateros also beat Taguig 75-73.
MBT commissioner Pido Jarencio said the No. 1 team in both North and South divisions after a single-round robin affair will advance to the semifinals outright. With twice-to-beat advantages.
The remaining teams will meet in the quarterfinals using the 2-vs-7, 3-vs-6 and 4-vs-5 format. The winners will then advance to the semis with the two survivors figuring in another winner-take-all game for the Division championship. The overall Metro championship series between the Division champs will be a best-of-3 affair.
Quezon City (89) – Comia 32, Asuncion 14, Salazar 12, Udjan 9, Villacorta 9, Mahari 6, Barraquias 3, Nebre 2, Estoce jr. 2
Marikina (77) -Garcia 24, Casajeros 15, Canicula 12, Fortuno 12, Tobias 6, Laud 4, Reyes 2, Santos 2.
Quarterscores: 28-9, 49-32, 61-57, 89-77.
Manila (90) – Yu 28, Olmoguiz 18, Yutuc 10, Francisco 9, Castillo 8, Pancho 8, Umali 5, Quinones 2, Ramirez 2.
Caloocan (72) – Martin 25, Lagman 14, Padernos 10, Marquez 5, Reyes 4, Ortiz 2, Plumo 2, Sales 2, Ricasio 2, San Pedro 2, Obediza 2, Banania 2.
Quarterscores: 16-20, 39-31, 58-44, 99-72.