John Lopez hit the go-ahead jumper to lead Marinerong Pilipino to a pulsating 83-82 win over Wangs Basketball to stay alive in the race for a quarterfinals seat in the 2017 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) D-League Foundation Cup on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Lopez fired the game-winning shot with 27 seconds remaining as the Skippers improved their win-loss card to 4-4.
Mark led Marinero with 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field and nine rebounds.
Lopez contributed 12 markers and eight boards while John Ray Alabanza netted nine points and five rebounds for the Skippers.
“We owe it all to God. It was His grace. Even though we were down by 13 points in the last four minutes, we did not let that sink in to our minds. We just believe that God will help us,” said Marinero head coach Koy Banal.
“Like what I said every time, we will keep it one game at a time,” added Banal, whose team has the chance to advance to the playoffs if they can win its remaining matches against AMA Online Education and Gamboa Coffee Mix.
The Skippers were staring a 67-80 deficit with 4:48 remaining when Isip joined forces with Achie Iñigo and Julian Sargent to slice the lead, 78-80, with 2:17 left in the game.
Inigo’s triple pushed Marinero within one, 81-82 then Lopez sealed their come-from-behind win with the go-ahead jumper with 27 seconds remaining.
Couriers’ Jon Gabriel tried to steal the game but Sargent foiled his attempt as time expired.
Gabriel finished with a team-high 19 points and added five rebounds while Michael Juico chipped in 17 markers, four boards, and three dimes for Wangs, which dropped to 5-5.
Robert Herndon had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds while John Tayongtong contributed 11 markers for the Couriers.
JEAN RUSSELL V. DAVID