MANILA pulled the rug from under erstwhile unbeaten Quezon City, 81-78, in their much-awaited Philippine Capitals Clasico match-up in the Metro League Open basketball championships at the Hagonoy Sports Complex in Taguig.
Former PBA star Joseph Yeo canned two pressure-packed free throws to give Manila an 80-76 lead with 1:20 left and the All Stars held on to complete the upset win that put them in a two-way tie for the top spot at 4-1.
A jump shot by Cyrus Tabi of Quezon City and a split from the free throw line by Ken Acibar of Manila finalized the score.
Jayford Rodriguez finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and two assists, Paolo Quiminales added 13 points and game-high 19 rebounds and Almel Orquina had 12 markers for Manila.
John Carl Melegrito had 21 points, including five quick unanswered points that put Quezon City to within 76-78 with two minutes left.
But Tabi, who averaged 27.5 points in Quezon City's last two victories, struggled with 16 points on 6-of-18 shooting, including 0-of-3 from the three-point territory.
Overshadowed were Caloocan, which pulverized Las Piñas, 128-58, for a 4-2 record; and Taguig, which outplayed Marikina, 84-73, for a 3-2 slate in the tournament organized by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and supported by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
Aldrin Ligon and Jethro Sombero led the way for the Supremos, who came off a loss to the Stars and vented their ire on the Home Defenders to score their fourth win in six games.
Ligon finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and three assists and Sombero had a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Supremos of Mayor Oca Malapitan and coach Rensy Bajar.
Michael Jhon Perez added 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists and Nico Principe chipped in 14 points, nine rebounds and three assists for Caloocan, which unloaded a crippling 40-5 run to open up a 101-37 lead from 61-32.
Lester Dickens had 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Home Defenders, who played with only seven players
Former PBA player John Ferriols chalked up 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting 12 rebounds and five assists as the Generals breezed past the Shoelanders.
The 10-team, two-group tournament also has Synergy 88, San Miguel Corppration, World Balance, Frabelle Foods, Summit Mineral Water, Alco Plus, Gerry’s Grill, Excellent Noodles, glitter.ph, SM Supermalls and Nature’s Spring as major sponsors.