The Bacoor Strikers leaned on a boisterous home crowd and clutch outside shooting to defeat the Bicol Volcanoes - LCC Stores 84-80 on Wednesday night at the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season.
Triples in the last five minutes from best player of the game Mike Cañete, Oping Sumalinog, Mark Montuano and Ian Melencio powered the Strikers to the win in front of a jampacked crowd at the cozy STRIKE Gym in Bacoor.
"Sumunod lang kami as sistema namin at kay coach (Chris Gavina.) At nagtiwala kami sa sarili," said Cañete, who led his team with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Bacoor was in the driver's seat at the half, 40-33 thanks in part to their hitting all nine of their free throws.
An entertaining third period concluded with Bicol up 57-56 on a Jerome Garcia triple, his second of the segment. Leo Blanca, Mark Pangilinan, Don Ochea and Ronjay Buenafe also all buried threes in the period.
But Bicol began the fourth with an 8-0 run, which was actually the second part of a 14-0 run that straddled the two quarters, to lead 65-56 with 7 minutes left. Bacoor's gunners exchanged three-point fire with Volcanoes Clark Derige and Jerome Garcia over the next three minutes to result in a 77-77 scoreline with just over a minute remaining.
Then Melencio knocked in a three, and made a pair of free throws while Garcia and Buenafe misfired from range. RJ Ramirez also went 2-for-2 from the line to give Bacoor an 84-77 advantage that held up in the end.
The Cavitenos hit 13 of 30 three-point attempts, or 43 percent, as they improve to 11-4, with the most number of wins in the South Division.
Bicol loses a second close game in a row and see their slate dive to 8-7 despite a 21-point offering from Buenafe.
In the second match of the day the Quezon City Capitals - WEMSAP earned a big 87-84 win over Caloocan Supremos Victory Liner in the battle for bragging rights across A. Bonifacio Avenue.
Dahrrel Caranguian was the talisman for Quezon City with 22 points to lead all scorers. He was the co-best player of the game alongside fellow guard Aaron Black.
The Capitals led 44-40 at the half, a deficit the Monumento Boys cut to 60-58 entering the final period.
But Quezon City stormed out of the blocks with an 8-2 surge to up their lead to eight. Black and Caranguian both hit triples to keep Caloocan at bay. Caloocan nipped at the heels of the Capitals and got to within four points when Supremo AJ Mandani nailed a three-bomb with just under three minutes to go.
With a minute and a half he repeated his feat to pull Caloocan to four once again, 87-83. But a Thomas Torres free throw was all the scoring we would see in the match-up as Paul Sanga, Almond Vosotros and Mandani all fired blanks in the last few minutes.
QC edges closer to .500 with the win. They are now at 6-7. Meanwhile the Supremos are now level at 7-7. Vosotros topped all Caloocan scorers with 19 points.
In the afternoon game, the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors disposed of the Cebu Sharks Casino Ethyl Alcohol 78-68. Jeric Teng led Pasig with 21 points, closely followed by Josan Nimes' 20 markers.
The Sharkes were down 62-51 at the start of the fourth period but a Kraniel Viloria free throw capped a mini-run of seven points for the Cebuanos, pulling them to within four wih six minutes left, 67-63.
Three minutes later five straight points from Josan Nimes would restore a 10 point lead for Pasig, 74-64, and Cebu was unable to draw much closer.
Will McAloney was the top producer for the Sharks with 20 points as his team finished with a subpar 30 percent field goal shooting percentage for the day.
While Cebu tumble to 4-8 in the South Division the Pasigueños are now a half-game away from Makati with a 9-3 card.