JAMFY Pioneers- Secret Spices rode on the heroics of former Jose Rizal University mainstay Kenny Santos to subdue New San Jose Builders, 97-96, in overtime in the 2016 MBL Open (Second Conference) basketball tournament at the Rizal Coliseum.
Santos, the other half of the Santos twins from JRU now playing for Jamfy, drove against a phalanx of defenders with 23 seconds left to provide the marginal basket in the tensely-fought encounter.
San Jose Builders actually had a chance to salvage the win, but Lucky Palogan missed a difficult shot under pressure in the team’s final offensive in the tournament supported by Smart Sports, Ironcon Builders, Star Bread, Dickies Underwear, PRC Couriers and Gerry’s Grill.
Earlier, former Ateneo player John Apacible hit back-to-back baskets inside the shaded area to give Jamfy a 95-91 lead with less than a minute left in the extra period.
But San Jose battled back with Jayson Grimaldo barreling his way inside and Palogan hitting a three-point shot from the right side to wrest the lead, 96-95 with still 30 seconds remaining.
Toffe Santos finished with 21 points, while Apacible added a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds for Jamfy, which is being handled by coach Jigs Samaniego, consultant Vincent Pasquin and playing manager Macky Villarta.
Two other players -- Mario Basco and Mike Jimenez -- added 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Nikko Lao, the team’s most dependable scorer, scattered 34 points, while Grimaldo added 28 points to give NSJBI of coach Rainier Carpio and manager Jomar Acuzar a 1-2 punch.
The 6-3 Lao also sent the game into overtime with a long three-pointer as time expired.
Palogan contributed 19 points and Kevin Sumay had 11.
MBL chairman Alex Wang said the participating teams will play a single-round elimination with the top two teams advancing to the semis outright with twice-to-beat privileges.
The championship is a winner-take-all affair.
Jamfy Pioneers-Secret Spices (97) -- T. Santos 21, Apacible 20, Basco 15, Jimenez 13, K. Santos 9, Baltazar 8, Murillo 8, Fernandez 3.
San Jose Builders (96) -- Lao 34, Grimaldo 28, Palogan 19, Sumay 11, Telles 2, Acuzar 2, Sopranes 0.
Quarterscores: 24-18, 43-30, 60-62, 82-82, 97-96.