Isit, Tayongtong stay civil years after NCAA brawl | Inquirer Sports
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Isit, Tayongtong stay civil years after NCAA brawl

/ 09:39 PM February 24, 2017
Isit and Tayongtong. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Isit and Tayongtong. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Almost two and a half years since heir infamous incident in the NCAA, CJ Isit and John Tayongtong met again in the hard court on Tuesday, this time in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.

The two were central figures in the bench-clearing brawl between Mapua and Emilio Aguinaldo College back in September 2014 which saw an agitated Tayongtong floor Isit with a right-hand punch late in the game.

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And just like last time, they didn’t shy away from guarding each other when their respective teams needed them the most.

With Isit’s Batangas squad waging a huge fourth quarter fightback after trailing Tayongtong’s Wangs Basketball side by as much as 22 points, the two had a chance to shut each other down in the final minute.

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READ: NCAA suspends 17 players involved in Mapua-EAC brawl

“Towards the end, he had an iso play at the top and I just wanted to lock him down and I think I did a good job in that last play,” said the 24-year-old Isit.

Tayongtong was forced to give up the ball to Marlon Gomez, who missed his undergoal stab in the final 29.4 seconds of the game.

That was the chance the Batanguenos needed as a Yutien Andrada tip in the final 11.9 ticks allowed them to snatch the 97-96 win away from the Couriers.

Though there was a lot of history between then, the two insist that it’s all water under the bridge.

READ: Brawl mars EAC-Mapua game in NCAA

“A couple of months after that incident happened, our athletic director set up a lunch and he actually wrote an apology letter for my mom who flew out from Toronto,” said the Fil-Canadian Isit. “We pretty much made up, so to speak. We’re cool, but we’re not exactly friends at the same time.”

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Tayongtong also said he has moved on from that dark chapter of his young basketball career.

“It’s nothing to me now. I’m ok with it, but I don’t know about him. We haven’t had a chance to talk, but I’ve moved on,” he said.

Tayongtong shared that his Wangs teammates have been egging him on even before the game, but he opted to focus on the tiff rather than the personal matchup.

READ: Batangas stuns Wangs

“My teammates have been teasing me before the game, and I actually thought about that. But I just focused on my game,” the 24-year-old guard said.

And Tayongtong did, finishing the game with 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists.

Unfortunately, his efforts went for naught as the Couriers squandered a 22-point edge and saw their 92-70 advantage in the final eight minutes disappear en route to a painful one-point defeat.

Isit admits that his past brush with Tayongtong did give him a slight motivation, but the goal has always been the same.

“It was definitely an extra push of motivation, but we definitely wanted to get the win,” he said, as once again, it was his side who reigned supreme at the buzzer.

“It definitely feels good to get the win. It’s kind of like we got the last laugh, especially that they were up by that many points down the stretch. That’s what matters at the end of the day: the wins and the losses.”

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