QC stuns Makati at start of playoff series, ends MPBL record streak

QC stuns Makati at start of playoff series, ends MPBL record streak

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Who would have thought that the team that Makati beat to set the longest winning streak in the history of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League would be the same team that will end it?

The Quezon City Capitals did exactly just that on Wednesday night after shocking the Skyscrapers, 88-77, in Game 1 of their playoff series at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Missing out on its first chance of snapping Makati's winning streak at 14 and instead conceding what would be its opponent's record-setting 15th straight victory on Feb. 25, QC finally got to extinguish the said streak in their rematch, which turned out to be of bigger importance as the said team, seeded seventh in the Northern Division, is now at the cusp of upsetting second-seeded Makati.

Uncharacteristic of how they built their 15-game winning run, the Skyscrapers only made 13 points in the first quarter, and the Capitals raced to a 10-point lead after the first 10 minutes.

Makati recovered in the second quarter and even took the lead, 33-32, with 3:14 to play in the said period.

But QC finished the quarter with five straight points to carry a 41-36 advantage to the halftime break.

After a tight third quarter, the Capitals appeared to be holding on and even stretched their lead to nine, 70-61, with 8:04 to go in the fourth.

But the Skyscrapers went on a 8-0 run to cut the lead down to one, 70-69, with 6:23 to play.

Following an exchange of baskets, QC pulled away after a game-deciding 11-0 run that upped its lead to 12, 85-73, with 1:21 to go before settling for an 11-point win.

Jay Collado posted a career-high 27 points on 9-of-14 shooting with seven rebounds, one assist, and one block for the Capitals, the only lower-seeded team that drew first blood in their best-of-three first round match-up in the North Playoffs.

Hesed Gabo and Andoy Estrella each added 15 markers with the latter getting 10 of his points in the  pivotal fourth quarter.

Rudy Lingganay and Jeckster Apinan each scored 15 points for the Skyscrapers.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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