QUEZON City rallied from several 13-point deficits in the final quarter to bring down Caloocan, 92-90, and remain as the only unbeaten team with four victories in the Metro League basketball championship at the Parañaque Sports Hall.
Cyrus Tabi proved to be the man of the hour again for Quezon City as he scored nine of his game-high 25 points during the Junior Capitals’ furious comeback in the payoff period.
Tabi’s fourth-quarter heroics included a lay-up that tied the score at 85-all with 1:54 left, a three-point play for an 88-86 lead with 1:23 remaining, and another two-pointer that put QC safely ahead, 92-88, with only five seconds left.
A floating jump shot by Johnnel Bauzon of Caloocan finalized the score.
The win enabled QC to tighten its grip on the solo lead with a 4-0 win-loss record in the North division of the tournament organized by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and supported by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
It was a fitting follow-up for Tabi, whose 29-point explosion lifted QC to 110-73 win over Marikina last Oct. 11
John Mahari added 18 points and Froilan Saquillo contributed 17 points and a game-high 21 rebounds for the Junior Capitals of Mayor Herbert Bautista and coach JP Ycasiano.
Bauzon and MJ Enriquez shared scoring honors with 16 points apiece for Caloocan, which dropped to 3-2.
In other results in the event, which has “mobile app ng bayan” Barangay 143 as presentor, Spalding as the official ball, Team Rebel Sports as official outfitter, it was Pateros over Valenzuela, 94-87; San Juan over Las Piñas, 92-80; and Parañaque over Marikina, 92-81.
Pateros leaned on Rickson Gerero's 33 points and Jojo Lopez's 13 points and 15 rebounds to subdue Valenzuela and improve to 3-1 in the South.
John Tayongtong and Dan Natividad had 19 points apiece for Valenzuela, which missed ace gunner Erwin Sta. Maria.
San Juan rode on Joshua Saret (26 points), Ryan Magbanua (14 points, 11 rebounds) and John Acol (10 points)
The 10-team tournament is also being supported by San Miguel Corp., World Balance, Frabelle Foods, Summit Mineral Water, Alco Plus, Gerry’s Grill, Excellent Noodles, glitter.ph, SM Supermalls and Nature’s Spring
Commissioner Glenn Capacio said the top four teams from each group will advance to the division semifinals after the eliminations where teams play each other once, including those in the other division.
Lou Gatumbato is the technical director.