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Navotas, Muntinlupa to finally settle stopped clash

A basketball rim at the Navotas Sports Complex nearly fell off the backboard after a three-point attempt from former Navotas player Kyle Neypes. MPBL (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Navotas and Muntinlupa can now finally put a closure to their halted showdown.

As first reported by Fox Sports' Rey Joble on Thursday, Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League commissioner Kenneth Duremdes ordered both teams to finish the remaining 1:34 of their match on Saturday night at the Angeles University Foundation Gym.

On July 28, the Clutch and the Cagers engaged in a close clash that went to overtime at the Navotas Sports Complex.

With only 94 seconds left in the game, Kyle Neypes put up a three-point attempt that only clanked the rim before Michole Sorela put the ball back in to trim Muntinlupa's lead that time to three, 98-95.

However, the impact of Neypes' shot nearly broke the rim, and the game was halted for safety reasons.

The order was made as the result of the game will impact the Cagers' final regular season standing.

A win will give them a better chance of taking the second seed in the Southern Division, but a loss could bring them down to as low as the fourth seed depending on the result of the game between the Batangas City Athletics and the GenSan Warriors on Monday night at the Batangas City Sports Center.

Neypes has since joined Muntinlupa through a Nov. 19 trade for Daniel De Guzman, but he will not join his new team for the replay as only those present for their respective teams and are still in the lineups as of present are eligible as per FIBA rules.

The said ruling also bars Jai Reyes and Marlon Gomez, both mid-season pickups by Navotas, from playing for their current team.

The completion of the Navotas-Munti game will take place at 5:30 p.m., preceding the scheduled doubleheader that also has playoff seed bearing.

Bacoor City, still fighting for the fifth seed in the South, will take on Basilan at 7 p.m., while Pampanga hosts Zamboanga, also in the race for fifth place, at 9 p.m.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno