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Cebu forces KO match vs Misamis

MANILA, Philippines - Mark Ababon hit two baskets down the stretch then came through with a key defensive stop as M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala-Cebu snatched a thrilling 73-72 victory over Misamis Oriental to force a rubber match for the Tournament of the Philippines (TOP) crown at the Xavier University gym in Cagayan De Oro Saturday.

Aside from coming through with a defensive gem, Ababon converted two crucial baskets as the visiting Cebuanos completed their remarkable come-from-behind win to tie their best-of-five title series at 2-2.

With the win, the Niños can formalize their coronation as the first champion team of the tournament jointly organized by the Philippine Basketball League (PBL) and Liga Pilipinas with another win today in Cebu City.

Cebu, however, can’t be too sure since Misamis won Game 1 of their series also in Cebu.

“It was a gamble that I took and I thought Ababon being a slasher type of a player, can provide us some scoring since they (Meteors) were tightly guarding our shooters,” said Niños coach Raul Alcoseba.

Ababon, a former University of the Visayas standout, came in for the fouled out Stephen Padilla with the host team still up by three, 72-69.

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