By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--Marikina came alive in the final 8:04 of the game to down Navotas, 80-76, in the MPBL Datu Cup at the San Andres Sports Complex here on Wednesday night.
Down 59-64, the Shoemasters used an 11-0 run to take the lead for good, 70-64, with 5:54 to play.
The Clutch still put up a scare, cutting the lead down to just one on a Matt Salem triple with 1:02 to play even as Renato Ular could only make one of two free throws with 17 seconds to play to give them a chance to tie or even steal the win.
However, Salem missed his potential game-winner from three-point land, and Warren Ybanez quickly found Erwin Sta. Maria for the dagger layup at the final buzzer.
Sta. Maria finished with 21 points and seven rebounds for Marikina, which joined a long logjam for second place in the Southern Division standings at 4-3.
Ular added 15 points, 16 rebounds, 10 off the offensive end, one assist, two steals, and one block.
Ybanez flirted with his own double-double with 12 markers and eight dimes with four rebounds and three steals.
Ronald Roy fired four triples to chip in 16 markers with three rebounds, one assist, and one steal off the bench.
Kris Porter made 16 points, six rebounds, and three assists for Navotas, which fell to a tie with Pampanga for seventh place in the North.
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