SAN JUAN and Metro Manila Development Authority took different paths before beating their respective rivals to reach the finals of North and South Divisions of the Metro Basketball Tournament seniors competition at the San Andres Sports Complex.
San Juan walked the tightrope before eliminating Manila, 83-76, in a thrilling down the wire encounter to advance the North final against either top seed Quezon City or No. 5 Navotas.
John Kenneth Zamora scored all his eight points in the final 2:56, including back-to-back three-point shots that enabled the Whatta Whatta to clinch the win before a big crowd that included Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and PBA legend Philip Cezar.
Zamora’s heroics came after Bryan Santos of Manila tied the score for the last time at 73-all with a long three-pointer with 3:15 left.
A five-point cluster by Zamora -- a two-pointer and a triple -- put the Whatta Whatta ahead for good, 78-73, with 2:16 remaining.
Julian Lago led the way for San Juan with 19 points and eight rebounds, while King Astrero added 16 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in the event organized by the MMDA thru Metro Manila Sports Fest and supported by the Philippine Basketball Association.
Santos topscored for the All Stars with 19 points, while Kim Olmoquiz added 11 points and six rebounds.
No. 3 MMDA had a surprisingly easy 90-79 win over No. 2 Las Piñas to reach the South final against the winner of the Mandaluyong-Pateros knockout semifinal match of this event which has Mobile App ng Bayan Barangay 143 as presentor, my|phone “Bida ang Pinoy” as official mobile phone, Spalding as official ball, and Synergy 88, San Miguel Corp., World Balance and Higer Bus as major sponsors.
Steven Andres, Jeremy Deles, Dan Natividad and John Kevin Gatchalian combined for 67 points for MMDA, which avenged its 72-87 setback to Las Piñas in their classification match last Sept. 21.
The tourney is also supported by Excellent Noodles, Nature’s Spring Water, 1-Pacman Partylist, Hopewell Sales Corp., Star Bread, Frabelle Foods, Regan Industrial Sales, Inc., Glitter.ph, Alcoplus and Archie’s Bespoke Bar + Grill.
MMDA (90) -- Andres 23, Deles 18, Natividad 15, Gatchalian 11, Mayuyo 6, C. Morales C. 6, Larosa 6, Afuang 3, Jalandoni 2, Jimenez 0, Z. Morales 0.
Las Piñas (79) -- Aurin 21, Charcos 20, Tongco 11, Tiburcio 8, Jimenez 7, Gallardo 4, Aquiatan 3, Rante 3, Peralta 2, Coloma 0, Salvador 0.
Quarterscores: 23-17, 52-21, 72-44, 90-79.
San Juan (83) -- Lugo 19, Astrero 16, Acol 13, Munsayac 9, Zamora 8, De Guzman 8, Nepomuceno 6, Montero 2, Huit 2, Descarga 0, Lazaro 0.
Manila (76) -- Santos 19, Olmoquiz 11, Ramirez 9, Sultan 9, Matignas 9, Yu 6, Daguro 6, Pancho 4, Yutuc 2, Umali 1, Castillo 0, Quinones 0.
Quarterscores: 11-17, 36-28, 54-56, 83-76.