Callano, Monteclaro put up huge numbers as MNL Kingpin edge Exile 35Up in OT

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By John Mark Herrera - Published February 24, 2020

MNL Kingpin escaped with a narrow win on Saturday afternoon, against the gritty Exile 35Up squad, 112-110, in overtime as they notched win number two in three outings to boost their playoff bid in the KOTC Q1 2020 Inter Pick-Up League.

John Monteclaro and Charles Callano were hot all game-long, as the duo drilled 28 points each and a combined nine triples to be the game-changers as they successfully outlasted the more experienced Exile 35Up side. Ahead by double figures in the third quarter, the JC Fernandez-owned ball club were up 71-61 midway through the third chapter and seemed to be on track to pull away.

But Exile found lease of life as they slowly trimmed the deficit and narrowed it down to just five, 75-70 in a span of five minutes into the final quarter. Back and forth they went, as no team gave the other an inch, more intensly in the final minute of the payoff period, where they were deadlocked at 96 points a-piece.

The final minute saw Allen Zabala drilling a huge bucket to bring MNL Kingpin in front, 100-97, following a perfect trip from Ford Balisi at the charity stripe. But not to be outdone, Prince Fernandez came to the rescue and struck a game-tying triple to send the game into overtime.

The close ballgame would continue in the extension period, where MNL Kingpin got the better of Exile 35Up in the dying seconds. Tied a 108, Callano took matters into his own hands to hit a dagger triple through Exile's hearts, to lift his squad up to a 111-108 count with 20 seconds remaining. Patricio would answer with a bucket, but MNL Kingpin would seal the deal as Monteclaro's split from the line had the Joey Valencia-owned side scrambling in the final seconds, failing to get a clear shot as time expired.

Romeo Almerol scored a team-high 24 points on 11/13 shooting, Prince Fernandez dropped a near triple-double with eight rebounds and 12 assists on top of 14 markers--identiacal to Jay Arcusa's scoring production. Team owner Joey Valencia had 12 points, while Cedric Umali added 10 points, four rebounds, and four assists for Exile 35Up.

John Monteclaro had six rebounds, four assists, and three steals while Charles Callano grabbed four rebounds, dished out nine assists, and added two steals to conclude their identical 28-point performances. Larry Clavicilla had a perfect night from the field en route to scoring 11 markers, Dhan Bravo duplicated the feat--shooting 5/5 from two, while Marlon Serrano filled the statistical categories with eight points,five rebounds, seven assists, and two steals.

The close defeat dealt Exile 35Up back-to-back bow-outs since winning their debut game against DBTI. For MNL Kingpin, the close win became their second straight triumph since dropping their first assignment against Hoyas.