MANILA, Philippines - Hobe Bihon-Taguig City leaned on the red-hot shooting of Jemal Vizcara in the payoff period to repulse Ascof Lagundi, 91-88, and rule the fifth leg of the Tournament of the Philippines (TOP) yesterday at the Emilio Aguinaldo College gym in Manila.
The former University of Santo Tomas star scattered 10 of his 16 points in the last 10 minutes, including two triples – the last one gave Taguig a 90-86 lead with only 12 ticks left.
Veteran Edwin Asoro pushed the Cough Busters to within 88-90 in the next play that further intensified the tension.
Though Taguig’s Niño Marquez split his charities off a Bam Gamalinda’s foul, it was enough to seal the deal as the 6-foot Vizcara completed his heroics by distracting the last offensive play that saw veteran Sean Co lose the ball to Viscara.
For topping the leg, Bihon-Taguig City – bankrolled by Taguig City Mayor Laarni Cayetano and Hobe Bihon’sBobby Co – collected 12 points while Ascof Lagundi settled for seven points.
“The boys deserved this win because they really worked hard for it, hopefully we can keep this momentum as we head for Cebu,” said Taguig City coach Bing Victoria.
It was another disappointing setback for the Pascual Laboratories-owned franchise as it finished runner-up for the third time in as many outings in the event jointly organized by the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) and Liga Pilipinas.
The Cough Busters also finished second to Lhuillier Kwarta Padala Cebu in the first leg to Treston-Laguna in the third leg.
Meantime, the MP Gensan Warriors of Manny Pacquioa finished third by edging Cobra Energy Drink, 70-69, thanks to a buzzer-beating 18-footer by John Gonzaga.
Taguig also drew huge game from Harold Sta. Cruz, who logged 19 points,15 rebounds and two steals.
After a slow start, the Cough Buster came alive in the second quarter where they exploded for 34 points through the efforts of Co and Gamalinda that saw them take a 47-40 lead at halftime.