Cebuano star catches fire, lifts Makati to division finals

CEBUANO wingman Joseph Sedurifa caught fire at just the right time, hitting three huge three-pointers in overtime to thwart the second-ranked Manila-Frontrow, 78-75, and advance to the 2020 Chooks-to-Go MPBL North Finals, on Friday, March 6, 2020, at the San Andres Sports Complex.

With the game and a ticket to the North division finals on the line, Sedurifa sank three triples to give Makati a 78-73 lead in the extra session. Chris Bitoon, though, managed to pull Manila to within three off a basket from underneath with 13.5 seconds left.

Sedurifa then committed a five-second inbound violation on the other end, giving the Stars one last shot at stealing the win. Aris Dionosio pulled from deep off a broken play but badly missed, marking the end of Manila’s campaign.

“Savior. It’s the right word for Joseph (Sedurifa). He’s the savior of our games namin ng Makati. From Bulacan and everything, so Joseph talaga,” said Makati head coach Beajuing Acot on Sedurifa’s clutch performance.

Makati had the chance to snatch the game in regulation, but a potential game-winning triple from Joshua Torralba was ruled out by the officials.

Jong Baloria spearheaded Makati’s offensive attack with 16 points on top of six rebounds and two assists.

Sedurifa, a product of the University of Southern Philippines, poured nine points in overtime and finished the game with 12 points, five rebounds, four blocks, and three assists while Torralba had 11 markers and seven boards.

Manila was led by Chris Bitoon, who had 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists laced with six turnovers.

Dionosio tallied 15 points on five-of-17 shooting along with nine rebounds and four blocks while Mark Dyke had a double-double of 15 and 10 in a losing cause.

The Frontrow-backed squad missed Carlo Lastimosa, who pulled his right hamstring in the first quarter.

Makati will face San Juan-Go for Gold in the best-of-three division finals. (JNP)