Cebu Sharks escape Iloilo, arrest two-game slide
Cebu City, Philippines—Left-handed forward William McAloney rescued the Cebu Sharks-Casino Ethyl Alcohol from what would have been another crushing loss as he completed a three-point play with 2.7 seconds left to push the team past the Iloilo United Royals, 69-68, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup on Monday, July 15, 2019, at the Valenzuela Astrodome.
McAloney’s heroics allowed Cebu to snap a two-game slide and even its record to 3-3 (win-loss).
McAloney saved Cebu from the jaws of defeat as the Sharks wasted a 61-53 lead with 4:58 to go as Iloilo’s Samboy de Leon suddenly got hot from the field and scored seven straight points to bring the Royals to within one, 60-61.
Former University of Cebu wingman Al Francis Tamsi then hit a three-pointer to shove Iloilo ahead, 63-61, time down to 2:52.
A midrange jumper by McAloney and a free-throw by Michael Cenita momentarily put Cebu back in front, 64-63, but former Shark Eric Rodriguez responded with a trifecta to once again give Iloilo the lead, 66-64.
However, Rhaffy Octobre was able to tie things up at 66-all with two free throws before de Leon answered with a fadeaway jumper that trickled in to put the Royals ahead, 68-66, 48 ticks to go.
On Cebu’s next offensive, Joel Lee Yu missed a floater but the Sharks held their ground of defense to gain possession back.
Patrick Cabahug then passed out of a double-team and found McAloney, who barrelled his way down the lane and powered up for a basket while getting fouled by Rodriguez.
The former University of San Carlos (USC) standout made the bonus free throw to shove Cebu in front, 69-66, with 2.7 seconds to go.
Iloilo was able to get a clean look at a potential game-winning three pointer but Tamsi missed a wide-open corner triple as time expired to give Cebu the win.
McAloney almost had another double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds while Octobre had 11 points and nine boards.
Another power forward, Edrian Lao, was also a force down low, scoring nine points and hauling down 10 rebounds. /bmjo
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