PAUL Steven Babate scored a buzzer-beating lay-up all the way from half-court to lift Cagayan de Oro Petron All-Stars to a thrilling 77-75 win over the NBTC All-Stars in the SM NBTC Northern Mindanao regional All-Stars exhibition game on Wednesday at the XU gym here.
Babate, a reliable power forward of Sacred Heart of Jesus Montessori High School, also paced the Petron-backed All Stars with 21 points as Luc Ashton Artazo and Christian Hosain added 12 and 9 markers each.
Both Petron and NBTC regional All-Stars engaged in a torrid exchange of baskets in the whole four quarters with NBTC enjoying its biggest lead at 10 before losing steam in the face of Babate’s scoring binge the rest of the way.
With NBTC holding a narrow edge, Artazo and Paul Bontao hit a couple of baskets to force a 75-all deadlock with 13 ticks left.
Jovanne Jacutin had the chance to turn the table for NBTC, but lost the ball on the drive to the hands of Hosain who flicked it to Babate for the final dagger.
The game also turned into a rivalry of rising female and male coaches off the bench with Catrina Pong-Biongcog, Camille Casiño and Janeth Yañez of Petron going against the likes of Brande and Gilby Martinez and Ken Casiño of NBTC side..
“Double-whammy nga kadaogan sa amo kababahian kay women’s month celebration sab karong bulana ug amo kini dedikar sa tanang kababahian,” said Pong, who is a Jr. NBA Philippines coach and current president of the Cagayan de Oro Women’s Basketball League.