by Jerome Lagunzad
Former Mapua standout Allan Mangahas rose to the occasion down the stretch as Muntinlupa repeated over Navotas, 72-69, Tuesday night to advance to the semifinals of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Anta Rajah Cup.
The 5-foot-11 Mangahas came off the bench and delivered a game-high 23 points, including a pair of clutch buckets inside the final two minutes, that enabled the third-ranked Cagers to hold off the sixth-seeded Clutch in a thrilling windup to the delight of the home-court crowd at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
The hard-earned victory, which came on the heels of an 83-77 triumph in the opener last week, towed Muntinlupa to the best-of-three semis against either No. 2 Bulacan or No. 7 Parañaque City.
The Patriots, playing with a sense of urgency, got back at the Kuyas, 81-54, to force a sudden death in their own quarterfinals duel.