Pineda, Castillo hit timely buckets in crunchtime as Hoyas squeaks past MNL Kingpin


By John Mark Herrera – Published February 11, 2020

Win number two is in the books for Hoyas after a 76-73 nail-biter over the debuting MNL Kingpin, in the third game of the Saturday slugfest at The Upper Deck Lifestyle Center in Ortigas, Pasig City.

The fangs and claws were out for Hoyas, most importantly in the fourth quarter, where MNL Kingpin stayed in front for the most part. Paul John Pineda picked up from where he left off, while Cid Castillo broke out of his slump and delivered in winning time for his team.

Down 61-66 midway fourth quarter, Hoyas banked on eight straight points delivered by their money duo in Pineda and Castillo, to snatch the lead. But a feisty fightback from the JC Fernandez-mentored side, gave MNL Kingpin the momentum back.

It all boiled down in the final minute, where Hoyas exhausted their efforts on both ends--first, by getting crucial stops off MNL Kingpin's missed opportunities--then got three out of four charities to go in, with Castillo and Pineda conniving once more. Hoyas would never look back in the dying moments as Nikki Monteclaro's final heave at the buzzer went off the mark, giving coach Nestor Mendones and his troop, their second straight W.

Castillo led all scorers with 18 points powered by 7/8 makes from the freethrow line. He also gathered three rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Pineda duplicated his game one production with another 13-point output, along with six boards and three assists. Ace San Juan on the other hand, made up for a lackluster debut and poured 15 points on 7/10 shooting, while also clobbering the boards with seven rebounds across his name.

Irvin Ancheta led MNL Kingpin's gallant stand with 16 points, five rebounds, and two steals. Emman Elarmo gathered 15 points and eight rebounds, while Kury Gojar added eight points and eight rebounds to round out the valiant efforts from JC Fernandez's troop.

Hoyas will be up for a literally tall task against the towering Exile 35Up, who are fresh from a debut win against DBTI. MNL Kingpin on the other hand, will also have their hands full with Karma Lounge next up on their list as the Inter Pick-up League continues in its third week of games.