LESTER Reyes converted on a baseline layup right before the final buzzer to lift the Roxas Vanguards past the vaunted JPS Zamboanga City, 71-69, in the Mindanao leg of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup on Sunday, July 18, 2021, at the Pagadian City Gymnasium.
Reyes’ clutch basket, which came off a nifty drop-off pass by guard JK Casiño, culminated Roxas’ furious comeback from a 63-69 deficit with a minute left in the game.
With just 5.7 seconds left coming off a timeout, JK Casiño received the ball and penetrated to the basket and at the last moment, dished it off to Reyes for the lay-in to beat the buzzer.
"Set play talaga namin 'yun. Kailangan talaga naming i-go hard kasi penalty naman sila, kahit isang point lang makuha namin panalo pa rin," said Roxas head coach Eddie Laure.
That big shot by Reyes gave the Vanguards their first win in three tries, going 1-2.
Roxas actually trailed by nine in the fourth but equalized the score at 69-all after a three-pointer by Leo Najorda with just 19.7 seconds left. JPS had a chance to regain the lead but Gabby Espinas missed his jumper as the shot-clock expired, to set the stage for Reyes’ heroic shot.
James Castro spearheaded the Vanguards with 17 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and a steal. Chito Jaime also added a double-double for Roxas with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Reyes the hero finished with eight points, eight rebounds, and two blocks.
Jerwin Gaco turned back the clock with 22 points and nine rebounds as JPS dropped to 2-2. Rudy Lingganay and Med Salim also contributed 13 points apiece while Espinas got 12 points and 13 rebounds. (JNP)