Cebu keeps playoff bid alive in MPBL

THE Cebu-Casino Ethyl Alcohol upset the General Santos Warriors, 72-66, to keep its playoff hopes in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season alive at the Aznar Coliseum on Saturday night, Dec. 21, 2019.

The win boosted Cebu’s win-loss record to 10-12 to stay in the hunt for the eighth spot in the South Division. It also kept its perfect record during home games intact at 5-0 dating back to last season.

Trailing by six, 34-28, at halftime, Cebu turned their game up a notch, with AJ Coronel, Kraniel Viloria and Will McAloney scoring baskets during a 23-15 surge to take a 51-49 lead heading to the final canto.

However, GenSan kept at it and regained the advantage, 63-61, after a bucket by Robby Celiz. But Cebu—emboldened by their loud and energetic home fans —found their second wind and took the lead after Rhaffy Octobre completed a three-point play after he scored a lay-up in transition while getting fouled by Chris Masaglang.

Crafty guard Harold Cortes then scored a lay-up off a great pass from McAloney and scored on a putback off his own miss to give Cebu a 68-63 lead with 3:11 left. Octobre then swished in a huge three-pointer with 1:47 to go to push Cebu’s lead to eight, 71-63, and put the win on ice.

McAloney, who was drafted by NLEX in the PBA, had a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds, while Viloria added 16 points, six assists and three steals. Octobre came off the bench and almost had a double-double with 11 points and nine boards.

Celiz led GenSan with 26 points and eight rebounds but it was not enough to keep his team from suffering their eighth loss in 23 matches. (JNP)