Koga silences Bataan in Paranaque's narrow escape

Koga silences Bataan in Paranaque's narrow escape
Ryusei Koga played the hero's role for Paranaque after sinking a dagger layup to bring down home team Bataan.

Ryusei Koga swished a cold-blooded layup at crunch time to silence the home crowd and repel Bataan’s late game rally as Paranaque escaped with a 74-71 win Tuesday night in the 2018 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Anta Rajah Cup at the Bataan People’s Center.

The former San Beda University guard made a gutsy drive to the hoop, blowing past two defenders for the dagger with 22.2 seconds remaining that gave the Patriot a three-point cushion. Koga was helped back into their as he went down with cramps after his basket.

Bataan had another chance to score after ex-pro Gary David missed miserably on a triple but Al Carlos bricked his putback attempt. The Defenders got another shot to equalize after Jemal Vizcarra was called for a travelling violation with 5.9 ticks left.

David missed on his attempt beyond the arc, Bataan got the offensive rebound but Earvin Lacsamana sent his shot straight to board as Paranaque escaped with its third win in seven games to tie idle Navotas.

Koga finished with 16 points and seven assists.  

The Defenders cut their 59-67 deficit to 71-72 with 38.5 seconds left with a huge rally capped by David’s trey and a triple by Jay Sierra before Koga took matters on his own hands.

Bataan dropped to 2-5 mark tied with Imus.

Meanwhile, Valenzuela clawed its way back from a 17-point halftime deficit to stun Muntinlupa, 83-80, in the curtain-raiser.

The Classic trailed 38-55 after the first half before dropping 55 points in the last two periods while buckling down on defense to improve to 5-2 slate at second to third spots tied with Quezon City.

Rocky Acidre led Valenzuela with 19 points while Adrian Celada had 14 markers and rebounds.

Chito Jaime scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds but failed to save the Cagers from absorbing their third loss in seven outings.   

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