Estrella catches fire late to lead QC past Caloocan

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Andoy Estrella delivered for Quezon City in the endgame as it held off Caloocan on the road, 81-79, in the MPBL Datu Cup at the Caloocan Sports Complex on Monday night.

Estrella scored eight points within the last 3:58 of the game to lift the Capitals past the Supremos in a battle between struggling Northern Division squads.

Following a Mar Villahermosa missed triple, Estrella quickly stepped on the gas after getting the rebound and went all the way for the go-ahead layup that broke a 72-all tie.

Back-to-back baskets from Rene Pacquiao and Monbert Arong put Caloocan back up, 76-74, but six straight points from Estrella gave QC the lead back, 80-76, with 16.4 seconds left.

Almond Vosotros scored on a mid-range putback to draw the Supremos to within two with 9.1 seconds left before he and Estrella tangled up following the former's hard foul on Hesed Gabo with 4.8 seconds remaining. Vosotros and Estrella were each slapped with a technical foul each, but the Capitals' bench also got a technical for improper bench decorum, giving the Supremos a chance to at least force overtime as they can cut the lead down to one possession with a technical free throw.

Gabo could only come up with a split from the line off Vosotros' regular foul, and Vosotros got the point back by hitting the technical charity.

Caloocan gambled for the outright win, but Paul Sanga's open three-pointer from the right corner hit the top of the backboard as time expired.

Estrella finished with 20 points, five rebounds, two assists, and one steal for QC, which moved up to 3-7.

Vosotros came up with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and one steal in his first home game for Caloocan, which fell to 4-9 despite outrebounding QC, 61-39 and a poor 43 percent free throw shooting from the latter.

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