Apinan helps Makati rally past Manila
ANTIPOLO—Jeckster Apinan banked in a layup with three seconds remaining to lift Makati to a pulsating 99-97 victory over Manila-Robust Energy Capsule Thursday night in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup at Ynares Center.
Getting a nifty feed from Ced Ablaza, Apinan scored the game winner over the outstretched arms of former Jose Rizal U teammate Marvin Hayes as the Skyscrapers completed an incredible comeback from 16 points down in the second half.
Apinan’s basket capped an impressive 25-point output, the ex-pro helping the Skyscrapers gain a share of the North Division lead with the idle Navotas Clutch at 2-0.
“I’m just happy to get my chance with Makati,” Apinan said in Filipino.
“Coach Cholo (Villanueva) was patient with us even when we trailed. We will continue to work hard.”
Ablaza and Rudy Lingganay had 24 and 16 points, respectively, to spearhead the comeback of the Skyscrapers who trailed, 44-60, early in the third period.
Chris Bitoon finished with 24 points, including 13 in the first period, to lead the Stars who gained a 98-97 lead with five seconds remaining after Aris Dionisio split his foul shots.
Later, Pasay ruined Rizal’s home debut by hacking out an 87-81 triumph in a game marred by long delays following a spate of technical fouls in the third quarter.
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