Manila survived Cam Norte, 80-77, to pick up its second straight win in the Pilipinas Super League President’s Cup late Monday night at the Filoil-EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
The Stars survived a grueling, highly-physical encounter which saw two players getting ejected from the game and a series of flagrant and technical fouls issued on both squads.
Forward Kyle Neypes of Manila and guard Denzel Wong of Cam Norte got into the piece of the heated action as they both traded blows. Both players were ejected from the game with 24 seconds left before going to the final quarter and the Stars protecting a 54-49 lead.
But the untoward incident was replaced by the tense moments leading to the final seconds of the game when a three-point shot by Jefferson Arceo shoved the Warriors within striking distance, 77-78, with still 28 seconds in the game.
Marcy Arellano, however drew a foul in the last three seconds and calmly sank both free throws and the Stars preserved their second win in less than a week.
Earlier, 1Munti clobbered NKT Snipers, 79-72.
Four players ended up in double figures for 1Munti led by Michael Macion, who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Russell Koga played a solid, all-around game and wound up with 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals while Mark Sarangay and Ford Ruaya each tallied 10 apiece in a display of balance production for 1Munti.
Koga admitted that familiarity played a big role in their win.
“About half of the team are also playing in the MPBL, so there’s no problem for us when it comes to familiarity,” said Koga.