MPBL: Late putback pushes Caloocan past Negros; Makati, Valenzuela win
MANILA, Philippines—Pao Javillionar scored the game-winning basket to carry Caloocan over Negros, 80-79, in Pool A in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Javillionar put his team ahead for good on a putback with three seconds left.
“The boys really wanted to win after that very dismal performance yesterday,” said Caloocan head coach Rene Baena.
“I do not want to call it luck but if you see that putback, it was a lucky shot. But every time in our scrimmages, Pao will always be there for the putback it’s either him or [Mon] Mabayo,” he added.
He finished with 15 points and a game-high 19 rebounds for Caloocan, which bounced back from a humiliating 72-48 loss to Bacoor on Monday.
In Pool D, Mindoro staved off a late surge by Bulacan, 79-72,
“Same as our last game, we were up in the third quarter but unfortunately, we forgot how to play basketball in the fourth quarter,” rued Mindoro head coach Britt Reroma.
“But we will still take this as a win. We were playing not to lose in the fourth quarter,” he added. “We have to work on that. We all know that this is a very short tournament. Every game counts and we need to work on things again.”
In another down-the-wire match, Valenzuela held off Muntinlupa, 76-72, for its first win in Pool C.
Dave Moralde took charge for Val City with 18 points, five rebounds, and three steals.
Makati also notched its first win of the tournament after a narrow victory over Marikina, 95-89.
Rence Alcoriza shot a game-high 24 points just 20 minutes and 27 seconds of play.