by Ernest Hernandez
Quezon City survived an endgame push by San Juan for an 88-85 road win in the 2019 Metro League Reinforced Conference at the San Juan Gymnasium on Tuesday night.
QC was on track of a blowout after opening the fourth quarter on a 15-2 run for a 79-61 lead with 8:23 left.
However, San Juan inched closer and came to within one, 85-86, with 53 seconds left.
QC missed out on field goal opportunities to get some separation, but offensive kept the team afloat and Jeff Comia made crucial free throws with 12 seconds left for the eventual final count.
King Astrero got a chance to force overtime finding himself open for the three off a fake, but his shot was off target at the final buzzer.
John Espanola made 16 points, five rebounds, and one steal off the bench for QC, which now took the top spot in the Northern Division at 4-2.
Michael Cañete’s 31-point bomb on 9-of-11 shooting and Ray Miller’s 20-20 showing of 21 boards and 20 markers went down the drain as San Juan slipped to third place in the Southern Division after losing for the fourth straight time after a 2-0 start.
Making matter worse for San Juan was the injury to main gunner Joshua Saret who injured his ankle in the fourth quarter.
Quezon City 88 — Espanola 16, Melegrito 14, Comia 13, Vasallo 11, Asuncion 9, Estoce Jr 8, Abarcar 7, Macaballug 4, Udjan 4, Belosillo 0, Delos Reyes 0, Outtara 0
San Juan 85 — Canete 31, Miller 20, Saret 10, Astrero 9, Castro 8, Abanes 3, Jacunap 2, Matias 2, Clarianes 0, Danas 0, Dada 0, Elarmo 0
Quarterscores: 18-31, 40-42, 64-59, 88-85