UNDERMANNED MERALCO REPELS CAVITEX IN OT TO WIN LEG 2 TITLE OF PBA 3X3
Dexter Maiquez sank the game-winning deuce as Meralco Bolts 3x3 pulled off an upset win against Cavitex, 18-17, to rule the Leg 2 of the PBA 3x3 Third Conference on Sunday at the Robinsons Las Pinas.
Meralco Bolts relied on its three-man lineup after Maclean Sabellina injured his knee during the semifinals and played limited minutes only during the championship match.
But Alfred Batino, wingman Joseph Sedurifa, and Maiquez carried the fight and crawled their way back from a five-point deficit en route to bagging the Leg 2 title and P100,000 of the grand prize.
“Buhos na kami. Kumuha na lang kami ng hugot sa isa’t isa,” said Maiquez.
“Wala akong masabi sa efforts ng mga teammates ko. Kahit na tatlo lang sila, work hard pa rin sila,” he added.
The Braves rallied on a breakthrough title after Dominick Fajardo ignited a five straight run to turn around a tight 11-11 score into a 16-11 lead with 1:19 left in regulation.
The Bolts responded with their own run with Batino scoring inside and Sedurifa nailed back-to-back twos to tie the game at 16 and send it into overtime.
Cavitex took a one-point lead in overtime, 17-16, off a layup by Bong Galanza before Maiquez hit the game-winning shot to seal the win for Meralco.
Batino and Sedurifa chipped in seven points apiece while Sabellina scored Meralco’s first point before being subbed out with still over nine minutes to go.
Prince Rivero finished with a team-high seven points for Cavitex while Galanza had six in a losing effort for the Braves, which claimed its first runner-up finish worth P50,000.
Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra outlasted TerraFirma, 20-19, to bag the third place in a thriller and took home P30,000.
Meralco (18) – Batino 7, Sedurifa 7, Maiquez 3, Sabelina 1.
Cavitex (17) – Rivero 7, Galanza 6, Fajardo 3, Rangel 1.
Ginebra (20) – De Vera 9, Gozum 6, Villamor 3, Cabahug 2.
Terrafirma (19) – Alanes 8, Cachuela 7, Taladua 6, Bulawan 1.