AICC Manila weathered a late storm as it turned back San Juan-Go for Gold, 74-70, and set up a no-tomorrow contest in the FilBasket Subic Championship at the Subic Gym over the weekend.
Chris Bitoon and Hesed Gabo paced the Big City bets with 13 and 12 points, respectively, as they bounced back from an 80-74 Game One loss on Saturday, knotted the series at one game apiece and forced a winner-take-all showdown at press time.
But Manila nearly blew this one out before it hung tough enough to preserve the series-saving victory.
Thanks mainly to Mr. Bitoon and Mr. Gabo, Manila led by as much as 17 points, 67-50, with less than five minutes remaining in the duel.
The Knights, however, unleashed one last run and cut it to just five points, 70-65, with a minute and 40 seconds to go with Rhenz Abando sparking that spirited comeback in the stretch.
But Manila made key stops late to snatch the win.
Jessie James Collado chipped in 11 points and six rebounds while Michael Mabulac contributed seven points and seven boards.
Mr. Abando ended up leading the way for San Juan with 16 points while Adrian Nocum added 11 markers. — Joey Villar