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Makati sends MPBL playoff series vs. Manila to sudden death with Game 2 rout

Josh Torralba scorched for the Skyscrapers. MPBL
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Makati stayed alive in the MPBL Northern Division Semifinals after handing Manila its worst defeat at home so far through a 75-59 Game 2 blowout at the San Andres Sports Complex here on Wednesday night.

The Skyscrapers somehow finished some unfinished business from Game 1 by zapping the Stars, who failed to close out the series at home.

Coming up just short of a comeback in San Juan City on Saturday night, Makati zapped Manila at the get-go, holding the home side to just eight points in the first quarter and 21 in the entire first half while taking a 16-point lead at halftime.

The Stars finally got their game going in the third period, eventually cutting the lead down to four, 47-43, early in the fourth.

However, they lost steam as the Skyscrapers responded with a 28-point blast the rest of the final frame to finally pull away.

Josh Torralba led Makati, which tied its best-of-three series with Manila at one game apiece, with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting with 5-of-8 on triples, three rebounds, one steal, and two blocks. Jong Baloria added 15 points, five rebounds, one steal, and one block.

"When they go small, sabi ko, 'Sabayan na natin,'" said Makati coach Beaujing Acot about his scoring guards' brilliance.

Mark Dyke and Marvin Hayes each scored 11 points for Manila, which will host Game 3 on Friday night.

Acot further told his team to clamp Cris Bitoon and Carlo Lastimosa.

"Tapos na i-stop na natin si Bitoon and si Lastimosa," he added.

The game plan worked as Bitoon was held to only eight points and was forced to four turnovers, although he too dished out eight assists.

Lastimosa, on the other hand, only had seven points on a dismal 2-of-15 shooting with two rebounds and one assist.

The Scores:

Makati-Super Crunch 75 -- Torralba 23, Baloria 15, Ablaza 10, Apinan 8, Lingganay 6, Sedurifa 6, Villanueva 3, Importante 2, Cruz 2, Atkins 0.

Manila-Frontrow 59 -- Dyke 11, Hayes 11, Dionisio 9, Bitoon 8, Lastimosa 7, Matias 6, Abrigo 5, Arellano 2, Tallo 0, Go 0, Lee 0.

Quarterscores: 19-8, 37-21, 47-41, 75-59.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno