By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--Makati held off Pasig down the stretch for a 76-71 road win in the MPBL Datu Cup at the Pasig Sports Center on Tuesday night.
The Skyscrapers quickly sent the Pirates back to earth, although the latter was on track of adding the former to its early 2019 upset list.
Makati limited Pasig to just 10 second quarter points while dropping 25 in the third quarter and was clinging to a 74-65 advantage with 1:35 to play in the fourth.
But the Pirates scored six straight points to come to within one possession, 74-71, with 23.5 seconds remaining.
James Mangahas could only come up with a split from the line as the Skyscrapers held on to a four-point lead with 20 seconds to play.
Martin Gozum, however, airballed a left corner triple that could have trimmed the gap to one, and Ced Ablaza sealed the victory with his own split from the foul line.
Mark Isip turned back time and put up an MPBL career-high 19 points with six rebounds, two assists, and one block for Makati, which clinched a playoff spot and tied San Juan for third place in the Northern Division at 15-4.
Joseph Sedurifa added 12 points, three assists, and one block, while John Villanueva and Jeckster Apinan each tallied 11 markers.
Jerwin Gaco made 13 markers, 12 boards, four assists, and one steal for Pasig, which was haunted by poor free throw shooting especially down the stretch as it dropped to 3-15.
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