MNL Kingpin ends SMP's winning streak to gain share of top spot

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By Frank Leo Aniscal - Published March 10, 2020

MNL Kingpin snapped SMP New Royal Taipan Corp.'s three game winning streak after a 93-85 win to continue rolling in the Inter Pick-Up League of the KOTC Q1 2020 Invitational, Saturday at The Upper Deck Lifestyle Center in Ortigas, Pasig.

After dominating the first half, MNL Kingpin felt the pressure in the next two quarters as SMP was persistent in applying full-court trap to come to within a possession, 83-81, down to the last two minutes of the game.

Irvin Ancheta then took care of business for MNL Kingpin as he made two successful baskets through isolation plays that forced SMP to end up fouling as the clock was winding down.

After losing their debut game, MNL Kingpin has won four straight games.

Ancheta finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebound to go along with five assists and one steal. Charles Callano had a superb game by dropping 33 points on top of his eight assists, six rebounds, and one steal. Larry Clavicilla and Marlon Serrano also ended in double figures, with 22 and 13 markers respectively.

SMP was able to go toe-to-toe with MNL Kingpin in the first quarter, even starting off strong by scoring the first six points of the game, as the scores were tied at 19.

But in the second period, MNL Kingpin made its offensive power felt by the opposition as they rallied for a 26-19 lead that pushed SMP to use their last timeout of the first half. Unfortunately after the break, MNL Kingpin stayed aggressive with their attacks as they stretched the lead to 14 before holding a 48-40 cushion at the half.

Getting positive results in their backcourt pressure defense, SMP had the MNL Kingpin struggling to bring the ball down and translated those defensive stops to baskets as they eventually took the upperhand in the halfway mark of the third frame, 51-50. However, MNL Kingpin resolved their problem on time as Charles Callano and Larry Clavecilla helped them bring a 60-51 advantage going to the fourth quarter.

Alexander Villacorta helped SMP come back to within one to open the final canto, but MNL Kingpin responded a 6-0 run to stay on top. As SMP remained in striking distance, Ancheta dropped two crucial baskets down the stretch that propelled MNL Kingpin to its fourth win.

Showing off his two-way game, Villacorta made a double-double of 24 points and 11 rebounds, plus a steal and a blocked shot, to become SMP's leading scorer. Timmy Alade also dropped a double-double peat of 18 markers and 10 boards, while Dunray Geraldo added 11.