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MPBL commish orders completion of halted Navotas-Munti match


MANILA — Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) commissioner Kenneth Duremdes told both the Navotas Clutch and Muntinlupa Cagers to finish their match at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, preceding the scheduled twin bill at the Angeles University Foundation Gym.

Both the Clutch and the Cagers faced off in an overtime thriller at the Navotas Sports Complex on July 28, but the play was stopped with 1:34 remaining in the extra period when a rim was damaged after Kyle Neypes, who was playing for the Clutch, went for a triple attempt.
The decision was made since the result will have huge playoff implications on Muntinlupa.

Should the Cagers, which was leading 98-95 before stoppage of play hold on, it will finish the regular season at 15-10, bolstering the squad’s hopes of finally locking in the second seed in the Southern Division playoffs.

However, a loss could drop the team to as low as the fourth seed depending on the result of the Batangas City-GenSan game at the Batangas City Sports Center on Monday night.

As per FIBA rules, only those listed during the game and are still with their respective teams at the moment will be eligible to play out the last 94 seconds of the overtime, making Neypes, who was traded to the Cagers for Daniel de Guzman on November 19, ineligible to play for both his past and present teams.

On the other hand, the Clutch will not have the services of Jai Reyes and Marlon Gomez, who helped catapult them back to the playoffs after a so-so start, as they were only acquired during the midseason, or a bunch of games after they hosted the Cagers.

Initially, the game also had an impact on Navotas’ playoff ranking, but with the team drubbing Quezon City at home on Thursday night to secure the sixth seed in the Northern Division, the resumption will now have no bearing on the club.

After the dust has finally been cleared, Bacoor City will take on Basilan, with the former looking to make a last dash to the fifth seed in the South at 7 p.m.

In the main game at 9 p.m., Pampanga looks to make a final bow for the season at home as it battles Zamboanga, which can finally seal the fifth seed with a road win. (PNA)