Will McAloney banged in six points in extra period, including a deciding layup in the last six seconds, to lead Nueva Ecija past San Juan, 99-97, on Thursday, assuring the Rice Vanguards of the second spot heading into the playoffs in the North division of the OKBet-Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Fifth Season at the Nueva Ecija Coliseum in Palayan City.
Nueva Ecija, the reigning national champion, raised its record to 22-5, trailing only Pampanga (24-2) in the round-robin elimination phase of the two-division 29-team tournament.
It was a rousing comeback for Nueva Ecija, which trailed, 84-89, following back-to-back triples by Orlan Wamar and Adrian Nocum with one minute and 50 seconds to go.
Jay Collado, however, countered with a triple and Pamboy Raymundo added a jumper to level the count at 89.
Although there was still one minute and nine seconds left, neither team was able to score in that span.
McAloney wound up with 20 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.