Caloocan Supremos holds off Nueva Ecija
With Almond Vosotros now uncertain for the Caloocan Supremos-Victory Liner, Paul Sanga stepped up to deliver over the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards, 92-90, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan season at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium.
Sanga finished with 24 points while shooting six triples along with seven rebounds.
Caloocan was leading by as much as 18 points but Nueva Ecija made a gallant stand and came back.
A JP Sarao three-point play and a Levi Dela Cruz free throws pulled them to within five points, 72-77. However, Thomas Torres answered right back with an and-one play to keep the Rice Vanguards at bay.
An Adrian Celada trey plus a Dela Cruz two charities cut the deficit to only two points.
Rene Pacquiao made one free throw but Celada bombed away another triple to tie the game at 83.
A technical free throw by Sanga gave the Supremos a precarious one-point lead
Torres then nailed two free throws before Sanga made a putback, giving Caloocan a five-point cushion, 90-85 with 41 seconds left.
JC Escalambre made another layup to stretch their lead to seven before Dela Cruz and Marlon Monte combined for a triple and a layup, 90-92, with 12 seconds left.
Escalambre had the chance to make the game in two-possession but missed both of his free throws. Sanga then called for a foul.
Luckily for Caloocan, Delfinado missed his crucial charities as the opponent held on to win the game.
Pacquiao followed the scoring with 13 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out in the dying minutes as Torres added 11 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
Sarao top-scored for the new-moniker Rice Vanguards with 17 points along with six rebounds. Monte and Dela Cruz put equal numbers of 12 points while Celada had 11 markers.
Aside from Vosotros, two more notable players did not suit up on the side of Nueva Ecija, Jerwin Gaco and JR Cawaling.
Caloocan is now at 8-7 while Nueva Ecija dropped their sixth straight games for a 2-11 card.