CHRISTOPHER Isabelo scored all of his 11 points in the final quarter as Mandaue City returned the favor and survived the grueling Game 2 with an 85-81 win against the Consolacion Sarok Weavers.
They forced a deciding game in the North Division Finals of the 2017 Cebu Governor’s Cup Inter-Cities/Municipalities Basketball Tournament.
The deciding Game 3 of the North Division Finals will be staged tonight at the Mandaue City Sports and Cultural Complex starting at 7 p.m.
Isabelo scored three triples—two made to get Mandaue back on track after trailing, 63-57, at the end of the third quarter, and the other tied the game at 74-all at the final four-minute mark. His two pressure-packed free throws made in the final five seconds of the game were the insurance points for Mandaue City.
Mandaue drew a huge morale booster as its team captain decided to suit up after sitting out the Game 1 loss.
Cabahug quickly made an impact as he scored 13 points to lead Mandaue City to a 25-23 lead in the opening period.
Mandaue City continued to hold on to the lead as Kenneth Brillo and Froilan Mangubat helped Cabahug in the scoring chores and keep a 44-37 lead at the end of the first half.
Suddenly, the Sarok Weavers came to life as Emmanuel Villamor, Brevin Keith Padayogdog and John Kirck Gonzaga ignited a 26-13 Consolacion run that put the home team ahead, 63-57, entering the final frame.
Mandaue’s nightmare continued as Cabahug reinjured himself early in the fourth and Consolacion continued to take control of the situation before Isabelo pulled Mandaue City back into the action.
Froilan Mangubat scored and had split free throws. Brillo scored in the shaded lane and Aljie Mendez scored from underneath for Mandaue to have an 83-78 lead in the last 56 seconds.
Cyril Sabellana, however, connected a triple to push Consolacion within 81-83, at the 46-second mark, and the Sarok Weavers were given opportunities to win the game.
Consolacion missed the shot, giving Mandaue the chance to increase its lead, but they also missed on their possession, giving Froiland Maglasang a chance for a fast break opportunity, which he missed because he was fouled by Ken Gato on his way to the basket. But he also missed both charity shots as Mandaue collared the defensive rebound.
JC Escalona was forced to give up a foul and sent Isabelo to the free line, and the USPF Baby Panthers gunner calmly obliged by sinking the two free throws for the final score.
Despite sitting down most of the final quarter, Cabahug still topscored for Mandaue City with 22 points, Mangubat added 18 and Gato, Brillo and Isabelo contributed 11 points each. Villamor scored the game-high 25 points and Sabellana added 16 points for Consolacion.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on June 28, 2017.
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