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Pasig takes charge late in OT to steal MPBL playoff opener vs. QC

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Just when Quezon City looked to be pulling off the biggest upset so far in the MPBL Playoffs, the team suddenly went cold in the end, and Pasig stole the win at home.

The newly-rechristened Pasig-MCW Sports squad successfully defended its turf, the Ynares Sports Arena on Tuesday night after trampling QC in overtime, 84-80.

The seventh-seeded Capitals, who stunned the Realtors in their regular season meeting, had a chance to repeat over their neighbors, but they could not close out the game twice.

Behind a clutch three-pointer by Marlon Monte, QC went ahead, 78-76, with two minutes left in regulation, but the team could not find the dagger even as Monte turned the ball over that led to the equalizing floater from Carlo Lastimosa that forced overtime.

Kentoy Segura scored the first basket of the extension to give QC an 80-78 lead, but the team went scoreless in the final 4:12 of the overtime period, including four straight missed free throws from Monte and Marcy Arellano, known to be effective foul shooters.

Lastimosa finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks, while Jason Melano added 18 points, 15 rebounds, and two assists for Pasig.

Melano's fourth point of the game, a layup with 3:34 left in the second quarter off a Lastimosa feed, officially made him the latest member of the MPBL's 1,000 Points Club.

Levi Dela Cruz put up 18 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and three steals for QC.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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