Cebu nips Iloilo to arrest two-game slide
Center Will McAloney completed a three-point play with 2.8 seconds left to lift Cebu to a thrilling 69-68 victory over Iloilo on Monday night in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season at Valenzuela Astrodome in Valenzuela City.
With the Sharks trailing by two, the bull-strong big man from University of San Carlos powered his way past veteran Erick Rodriguez to tie the game, before hitting the bonus free throw for the marginal score. Alfrancis Tamsi missed a three-pointer at the buzzer for Iloilo.
“As coach (Titing Manalili) told us, we just had to stay aggressive regardless of the score,” said the 6-foot-4 McAloney, who finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.
“I have the responsibility to take charge especially in the endgame because we’ve lost the last two games by close margins,” added McAloney.
The Sharks lost to Biñan on Wednesday on a game-winner by Allan Mangahas in overtime.
Raffy Octobre added 11 points and nine rebounds for Cebu, which held Iloilo to just 29-percent shooting.
Sharks gunner Patrick Cabahug, the former Adamson ace in the UAAP who is Cebu’s leading scorer, tallied only eight points.
But Cabahug delivered the pinpoint pass for McAloney to finish and come up with the game-winning three-point play in the dying seconds.
The Royals drew 20 points from Samboy De Leon, but no other player from Iloilo finished in twin digits.
The victory snapped a two-game slide for the Sharks, who improved to 3-3 and moved up to seventh in the 15-team South division.
The Royals have lost two of their last three games and fell in a tie with General Santos City with a 3-2 record.
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