CALOOCAN leaned on Michael Perez’s layup with only one second left to bring down erstwhile unbeaten Manila, 102-100, in a tight and exciting battle in the Metro League Open basketball tournament at the Caloocan City Sports Complex.
Perez delivered the game-winning basket with time running out as the Supremos unleashed a fiery 11-2 wind-up to erase a 91-98 deficit with 2:12 remaining and escape with their second straight win after an opening-day setback.
Also winning their matches in the tournament organzied by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and supported by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) were Valenzuela, which humbled Taguig, 89-83, for a 2-0 record in the North; and San Juan, which downed Parañaque, 74-60; for its first win in three matches; and Pateros, which stopped Las Piñas, 93-77, for a 2-1 slate in the South.
Manila took a 98-91 lead on five straight points by Jayford Rodriguez, including a free throw on a bench technical slapped on Caloocan.
But seven unaswered points by the Supremos -- five by Johnnel Bauzon and two by MJ Enriquez -- tied the score at 98-all with still 1:24 left.
Mark Cruz of Manila nailed two free throws and Perez hit a lay-up to keep the score at 100-all.
But misses by Cruz and Almer Orquina set up the stage for Perez’s heroics.
Aevin Coquia finished with 27 points on 9-of-17 shooting, Bauzon added 20 points and 11 rebounds and Perez contributed 19 points and six rebounds for the Rensy Bajar-mentored Supremos.
Orquina had 25 points and Cruz had 21 points and 11 rebounds for Manila, which missed the services of ex-PBA star Joseph Yeo.
Valenzuela drew big numbers from Erwin Sta. Maria (16 points, seven rebounds and five assists), Josiah Esplana (15 points), Ford Ruaya (13 points) and John Tayongtong (11 points) to beat the Generals.
Dave de la Virgen and Marlon Monte combined for 36 points for the Generals, who dropped to 1-1.
San Juan limited Parañaque to only 13 points in the first quarter and six points in the second period to finally claim its first win after two consecutive losses.