NBTC: Joey Panghulan half-court heave lifts Canada past Arellano

NBTC: Joey Panghulan half-court heave lifts Canada past Arellano

/ 08:54 PM March 22, 2024

Top Flight Canada's Joey Panghulan NBTC

Top Flight Canada’s Joey Panghulan nails game winner in the NBTC National Finals’ Division 2 Fearless Four game. –NBTC PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Top Flight Canada hoped for a miracle in the semifinals of the 2024 NBTC National Finals’ Division 2 against Arellano and Joey Panghulan answered the call.

With the score tied at 84-all with 3.4 to go, Canada had a chance to win the game and advance to the finalè of the Division 2.

But Top Flight didn’t have it easy, as they would have to inbound the ball from all the way to the other end of their basket.

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Right after the inbound, Panghulan zoomed to the halfcourt and with a second left on the clock, threw it up and banked it in to leave the Braves dumbfounded at the buzzer.

“I didn’t call board, though. I called game! Once that ball went through my fingertips, I promise you,” said an ecstatic Panghulan after their 87-84 victory at Mall of Asia Arena on Friday.

The half court heave wasn’t the only thing Panghulan contributed for Top Flight, as the high school gunner also finished with 14 points and five rebounds for the victory.

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But if Panghulan has anything to say about it, he doesn’t see the need to celebrate much despite his teammates going raucous after the buzzer.

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For him, the job isn’t done yet but they have the chance to finish their story on Sunday.

“It’s all about composure here, Sunday, we’ll win this. It’s an amazing feeling, I think it’s the first time I[‘ve ever done that (winning shot) in my entire basketball career.”

Helping Panghulan fuel Top Flight to the final phase was Justin Thompson with 18 points, five rebounds and four assists. JC Espinosa, meanwhile, also fueled Canada’s cause with 16 points and three assists.

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Waiting on the wings for Canada in the Division 2 Finals is Eco-Green Makati, who later in the day defeated PCU-Dasmariñas, 95-82.

TAGS: NBTC, NBTC National Finals

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