KENNETH Duremdes was brilliant in the first three quarters for Santa Lucia Realty, but, in the end, it was Jun Limpot who proved to be priceless for Purefoods in the clutch.
The Hotdogs survived a 37-point explosion from Duremdes then went on to the unusual defensive stops of Limpot in the endgame to complete an 89-87 come-from-behind win Friday night in Gran Matador Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Philsports Arena.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Purefoods for a 3-2 mark while keeping the Realtors winless in four starts.
“We just go back to our senses because after 2-0, we thought we were already good,” said Hotdogs coach Ryan Gregorio, who drew 20 points apiece from Limpot and Noy Castillo.
“We lost our usual aggressiveness. After that Talk ’N Text loss, we just talked that this conference is the good chance for us especially with the development on ‘Fil-shams,’ ” Gregorio added.
Gilbert Demape had his own breakout game with 17 points for Purefoods, which appeared for its third straight loss when Santa Lucia took a commanding 85-79 lead on a Duremdes slam, 2:45 left in the game.
Kerby Raymundo, who recorded the only double-double performance in the game with 11 points and 14 rebounds, sliced the lead on a coast-to-coast drive, 85-82, 1:35 on the game clock.
Sta. Lucia center Marlou Aquino’s pass to Norman Gonzales was too strong in ensuing play, resulting in two free throws by Rey Evangelista off a Gonzales foul, tying the score for the last time at 85-all, 1:12 remaining.
Aquino fumbled once more in the next SLR possession as he failed to control the pass of Duremdes on a give-and-go play, allowing Purefoods to retake the helm.
Gregorio sued for a timeout and went on to Limpot, who faked a pass then laid the ball for an 87-85 lead, 46.5 ticks left.
Limpot then swatted Aquino’s attempt—his fourth in the night, and Demape, after controlling the rebound, was fouled by Aquino or a split charity, 88-85, 27.1 seconds in the game.
Realtors coach Alfrancis Chua had timeouts left and decided to go to Duremdes, whose three-point attempt at the top of the key was short, enabling Limpot to grab the rebound.
He was fouled immediately by Aquino, and although Limpot missed both charities, Santa Lucia failed to take a decent three-point attempt as the Purefoods defense held on to steal the win.