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Caloocan gets back in MPBL playoff contention after comeback vs. Muntinlupa

Paul Sanga set aside an off night and took over in crunch time. MPBL
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Caloocan came back late in the fourth quarter and prevailed over upset seeking Muntinlupa, 63-62, to keep it MPBL playoff hopes alive at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Monday night.

The Supremos went on a 10-0 run to pull off the comeback, while they hold the Cagers scoreless in the last 4:19 of the game.

Down 53-62, Paul Sanga sparked Caloocan's endgame run with back-to-back triples and two free throws to cut the deficit down to one, 61-62, with 3:13 left. Cedrick Labing-isa then scored two free throws with 2:04 to play to put the team back up.

Although the Supremos failed to score afterward, their defense came to work in the end as the Cagers never got to score again as well.

Sanga, who struggled all game long prior to his clutch heroics, finished with 15 points, six rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one block for Caloocan, which snapped a four-game losing streak and moved up to 15-13, a half-game behind Pasay for the eighth spot in the Northern Division.

"Sobrang importante ng panalong ito kasi kung natalo kami mahihirapan na kami kasi San Juan sunod naming kalaban. We will work hard to reach the playoffs," said Supremos head coach John Kallos.

Labing-isa came close to a triple-double with 14 markers, nine boards, and seven dimes with two steals and one block.

Jamil Ortuoste led Muntinlupa, which fell to 7-22, with 20 points, two rebounds, two assists, and one steal.

The Scores:

Caloocan-Victory Liner 63 - Sanga 15, Labing-isa 14, Escalambre 12, Marilao 9, Lasco 6, Gonzales 5, Sarangay 2, Tongco 0, Cervantes 0, Ambulodto 0.

Muntinlupa-Angelis Resort 62 - Ortouste 20, Moralde 9, Ylagan 8, Mag-isa 8, Rebugio 7, Gonzales 3, Enguio 3, Salaveria 2, Pamulaklakin 2, Po 0, Buenaflor 0, Reyes 0.

Quarterscores: 15-13, 28-36, 45-54, 63-62.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno