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DOHA: Powerhorse battled past Team Creation for a 96-90 hard-earned victory in the Pinoy Basketball Qatar – Subaru Cup feature match at the Al Gharafa Indoor Arena.
A sidelight to the Qatar Men’s League matches, the game between two of the top title contenders in Division A of the PIBAQ basketball tournament was fierce from the starting buzzer.
Powerhorse seemed to have wrapped the Division A match of the PIBAQ tournament as they led 92-84 with two minutes of the match remaining.
However, Team Creation ace-gunner Ronnie Cajayon and wily guard Lester Evangelista hit back-to-back triples to lift their team to within a basket, 92-90, with 34 seconds left in the game.
Team Creation played good defence in the ensuing play but muffed two chances at the basket from inside from a play designed off a crucial time-out as they regained offensive.
Powerhorse sealed the win from the charity lane off desperation fouls as time ran out.
The match was fiercely fought from the opening tip-off and was tied at 11-all halfway into the first quarter.
Evangelista unleashed a 10-3 run to pull Team Creation ahead at 21-14 but Christopher Guerrero countered with a 7-0 scoring barrage to tie the count at 21-all.
Former MVP and slotman Francis Mercado and combined with Cajayon to put Team Creation back in the lead, 25-21 to end the first period.
In the second period, Christopher Guerrero continued his impressive form leading an early 8-2 run to push Powerhorse back in the driver’s seat at 29-27.
This allowed their rivals to be kept at bay for the remainder of the period for a 47-41 cushion when the half-time whistle was blown.
Powerhorse dominated the game almost throughout the whole third period.
They posted double digit advantage at 69-59 but Cajayon rallied to lead a strong 10-2 finishing kick to end the quarter with Team Creation within a basket at 71-69.
Team Creation regained upper hand at 74-71.
Guerrero strung up points from the charity lane in between a long bomber to give back Powerhorse the lead at 79-76, and pushed his team on top going into the pay-off stage. THE PENINSULA