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THE LEAGUE

Makati needed a spark in Game One; Baloria provided it

by Niel Victor Masoy, February 19, 2020 3:14pm

In the face of what could be another meltdown, Makati found someone, who turned things around in its Game One Quarterfinals matchup against Bulacan in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup on Tuesday at the San Andres Sports Complex.

Enter Jong Baloria.

With Makati down by seven points, 74-67, with 7:45 left in regulation, Baloria led his team's 14-0 blast as he scored seven points in the run.

That rally proved to be a big one for Makati as its never lost grip of the lead after trailing by as many as 15 points, 20-35, in the contest.

Baloria, who finished with 20 points, three rebounds, and two assists, wasn't about to bask in his stellar performance, crediting Makati's teamwork instead.

“Tulungan kami, kasi ganun kami e. Hanggat ‘di pa tapos yung laro, hindi kami sumusuko, tulungan kami kasi sa team namin,” he said.

"Kahit ang dami namin pinagdaanan we treat ourselves as family. Kumbaga walang homegrown, walang ex-pro, pantay pantay tingin namin sa isa’t isa."

Of course, Baloria wasn't the lone hero for Makati, with Joshua Torralba and Joseph Sedurifa also coming through in the clutch.

When the Kuyas got within two, 81-83, Torralba and Sedurifa joined hands in unleashing an 11-0 run that gave Makati a 13-point, 94-81 lead with 32 ticks left.

Both the lead and time remaining proved to be more than enough for Makati to withstand Rev Diputado's 7-0 personal run and get the win.

Sedurifa and Torralba finished with 17 and 15 points, respectively.

“Wala naman sa amin yung star-star e, kumbaga tulungan lang. Kung sinong maganda nilalaro, kung sinong open bigay wala kaming kanya kaniya. Kung open ka, tapos may mas open pa sa’yo, ibigay mo," shared the 5-foot-11 Baloria.

“We expect that. We expect na maging maganda laro shooting ni [Joshua] Torralba, [Jong] Baloria, saka ni [Joseph] Sedurifa, pinaka ano lang talaga namin yung depensa, sa opensa okay kami,” said Makati head coach Beaujing Acot.

Makati can finish the best-of-three series in Game Two on Saturday, February 22 at its home turf - the Makati Coliseum.

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