By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--Makati held off a hot showing from Jerick Cañada to take a 99-94 win over Bulacan in the MPBL Datu Cup at the Batangas City Sports Center on Tuesday night.
The Skyscrapers' crisp ball movement turned pivotal as Cañada's best game in the league went down the drain despite the Kuyas' late run.
Leading 78-72 after three quarters, Makati conceded a 7-0 Bulacan run sparked by a Cañada triple to trail, 79-80.
The Skyscrapers restored order through a 7-0 run of their own to break out of an 83-all tie to take a 90-83 advantage and appeared to be holding on after eventually taking a 96-88 cushion with 1:28 remaining.
But crucial turnovers gave the Kuyas an opportunity to cut the lead to just four, 98-94, with 11 ticks remaining.
The door remained open for them as Ced Ablaza missed two pressure-packed free throws in the next play, but Jovit Dela Cruz committed a huge error as Gio Lasquety stole the ball off his intended pass before sealing the win with a split from the line.
Rudy Lingganay led Makati, which overtook its victim at number four in the Northern Division at 8-4, with 19 points, two rebounds, six assists, and two steals.
Ablaza added 18 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and two blocks, while Jeckster Apinan had 16 markers, 10 boards, one dime, and one swipe.
Cañada put up 22 markers, three caroms, nine assists, and three steals in his best game in the MPBL, but his performance fell short as Bulacan slips to 8-5.
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