Jumbo Plastic neutralizes Hapee’s twice-to-beat edge with gritty win
Jumbo Plastic continued to be a thorn on the side of Hapee as the Giants forced a winner-take-all affair with a nail-biting 87-83 victory Monday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
“We tried to psyche up our players. I challenged them to prove that they belong to the top four, to show that we’re one of the contenders,” said Jumbo Plastic coach Stevenson Tiu.
Glenn Khobuntin stepped up big for Jumbo Plastic, posting 13 points and eight rebounds in the win.
Jaymo Eguilos also had 13 markers and six rebounds, while Philip Paniamogan and Tristan Perez combined for 25.
New recruits Khasim Mirza and Jiovanni Jalalon also made their presence felt with Mirza scoring 12 points and Jalalon dropping 11 markers and seven assists.
A huge 21-0 run in the third turned the tide for Jumbo Plastic as it took a 67-53 advantage near the end of the period.
But the game still had a furious finish, with Baser Amer single-handedly trying to save Hapee from wasting its twice-to-beat edge.
However, a Jalalon steal from an errant pass by Ola Adeogun turned into an easy fastbreak for Khobuntin gave the Giants an 83-82 lead with 20.9 seconds remaining. A couple of Adeogun misses led to free throws for Jalalon and the final basket courtesy of Paniamogan.
Art dela Cruz led Hapee with 26 points, while Amer had 13 of his 21 points in the payoff period, to go with his nine assists and four boards.
Adeogun nabbed a double-double in the losing effort with his 17 points and 18 rebounds.
The fifth-seed Giants can score an upset on Thursday against Hapee, with the winner facing the top-seed Cebuana Lhuillier in the semifinals on Monday.
Jumbo Plastic 87 – Eguilos 13, Khobuntin 13, Paniamogan 12, Perez 12, Mirza 12, Jalalon 11, Villamor 5, Avillanoza 5, Mandani 4, Sanga 0, Arellano 0.
Hapee 83 – Dela Cruz 26, Amer 21, Adeogun 17, Newsome 6, Rosario 4, Elorde 3, Villahermosa 3, Koga 2, Sorela 1, Long 0, Gamboa 0, Mendoza 0.
Quarters: 19-17, 34-43, 67-56, 87-83.