Rome dela Rosa (left) and Greg Slaughter

Magnolia Pambansang Manok coach Chito Victolero praised Rome dela Rosa for his role in Calvin Abueva’s buzzer-beating basket that beat NorthPort, 90-89, in their wild PBA Philippine Cup match Friday, Sept. 17 at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.

It was Dela Rosa who threw the inbound pass to Abueva, who came off a screen before converting a close-range shot over Kevin Ferrer and Sidney Onwubere to seal the Hotshots’ place in the quarterfinals while staying in contention for a twice-to-beat advantage.

“Thanks to Rome na malaki yung dibdib at malaki ang puso to pass it to Calvin,” Victolero said.

Victolero described that it was one of designed plays he mapped out with 2.6 seconds left after the Batang Pier took the lead on Ferrer’s basket.

The Hotshots mentor said Dela Rosa was tasked to either throw an alley-oop for Abueva or find Paul Lee for a possible attempt.

“That’s a designed play,” said Victolero. “The play was for a backscreen to Calvin on an alley-oop or kung wala yun ang next option is for Paul. Good thing, na-execute.”

Dela Rosa and the Hotshots were also fortunate that Batang Pier coach Pido Jarencio opted to bring out Greg Slaughter and insert Onwubere to guard the inbound pass instead.

Slaughter was visibly not pleased when he was taken out, so were fans on social media after the fact since the 7-foot frame of the veteran big man will make it difficult for Dela Rosa to have a clear view of the situation.

Instead, the switch came back to bite NorthPort, which previously lost two games via last-second shots against San Miguel Beer courtesy of Arwind Santos and Barangay Ginebra off a basket by its former player Christian Standhardinger.

Source: Manila Bulletin (