MPBL: Belencion sizzles as Pasay wins classic over Quezon City

Bob Guerrero on Oct 04, 2019 09:35 AM
 MPBL: Belencion sizzles as Pasay wins classic over QC
Led by Jaypee Belencion, Pasay hit 75% from 3-pt range, 15 for 20 (Photo courtesy of the MPBL).

In perhaps the most entertaining game of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season the Pasay Voyagers held back the Quezon City Capitals - WEMSAP, 92-89, on Thursday night in the Cuneta Astrodome.

Several factors made the encounter unforgettable, but standing out amongst all was Voyager Jaypee Belencion's 22-point outing, tied for team-best with Axel Inigo.

The former pro hit four triples, all in the second half, and buried two jaw-dropping turnaround jumpers.

The teams were tied at 23-all after the first quarter, with Dhon Reverente raising eyebrows with an astonishing five rebounds in the first three minutes. The Navy man did his best Dennis Rodman impersonation on the night, finishing with 20 rebounds and 18 points.

In the second quarter, Inigo picked up a pair of triples but Clark Derige of QC matched the feat. The Voyagers were up 41-38 at the half.

In the third Belencion put on an exhibition with three triples and a breathtaking spin move short stab, while Reverente converted an alley-oop and nailed a reverse. Derige and Peejay Barua did their part to keep pace but at the start of the fourth the home side led 70-60.

In the last two minutes the teams played a madcap game of Can You Top This from three-point land.

Belencion nailed a trey to put Pasay up 87-82, only to see that negated by a triple from Joco Tayongtong. That was in turn answered by an Elmar Moradas three-bomb that Dahrrel Caranguian responded to with a three-pointer of his own, his third of the period. Caranguian picked up a split from the line to put WEMSAP to within one, 89-90, and when Inigo made two charities, QC were left with seconds to tie the game with a three.

Aaron Black's effort just missed and Pasay had their home win to go 11-6 in the North division. QC slides to 6-10.

QC were led by Caranguian's 20 points, with Derige scoring 18 markers and also draining four three-pointers.

All of Pasay's starters were in double figures in scoring, and the team shot a stupendous 75% from beyond the arc: 15 of 20.

In the second game, the Iloilo United Royals creep closer to a playoff berth with 76-70 win over the Pampanga Giant Lanterns - ADG Group of Companies.

Pampanga had the hot start but Iloilo surged in the second quarter as the Ilonggos held a slim 31-29 lead at the half.

Scoring picked up in the third and despite Reil Cervantes finding his rhythm and Dexter Maiquez pouring in the points, Iloilo still held the lead, 55-53 going into the final period.

A turning point came with six minutes to go and Iloilo leading 61-57. While contesting a rebound John Mahari gashed Maiquez's cheek with an inadvertent elbow. Maiquez bled profusely and had to leave the game, reportedly to get stitched. Maiquez was on song up until then with 17 points and Pampanga will wonder how the game could have turned out had he stayed. That 17-point output proved to be team-high for ADG Group of Companies.

Mike Juico and Felix Apreku picked up the slack in scoring for the Kapampangans but when Eric Rodriguez executed a perfect driving layup for a 73-68 lead with 90 seconds left, Pampanga were in a deep hole. Aaron Jeruta salted the game away in the end for the Royals with three free throws.

Al Tamsi was Iloilo's top scorer with 18 markers while Jeruta chipped in 13 points.

Eric Gonzales' team goes to 9-6 while Pampanga is now at 10-6.

In the curtain raiser Navotas Uni-Pak Sardines relied on sharp outside shooting to dismiss the Mindoro Tamaraws, 72-57.

Gabby Severino's team shot 42 percent from beyond the arc to climb up to 4-10 in the standings.

Osama Abdurasad led Uni-Pak with 14 points, followed by Mykiel Cabahug and Almel Orquina with12 points apiece. Both Cabahug and Orquina got their points all from three-point range.

Navotas led 35-27 at the half thanks to seven steals in the first 20 minutes.

With under five minutes to go in the game Rodel Vaygan was keeping the Tams in touch with Navotas, and a Luigi Natada split from the line had them 10 points adrift, 58-48. But then triples from Abdurasad and Orquina sandwiched a pair of free throws from Domark Matillano, giving Navotas a 66-48 advantage with 4 minutes to go, effectively closing out the game.

Vaygan led all scorers with 18 but he had little help, with no other Tamaraw breaching the double digit mark in scoring. Mindoro falls to 6-10 in the South Division.

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