Bulacan, Muntinlupa move a step away from Final Four

ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 22, 2018 11:34 PM
Bulacan, Muntinlupa move a step away from Final Four
Host team Bulacan and Muntinlupa are just a win away from reserving seats in the semifinals .

Bulacan weathered Paranaque’s furious comeback attempt late in the fourth period to knock on the Final Four door as the host team eked out an 83-73 win in their quarterfinals best-of-three series opener of the 2018 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Anta Rajah Cup Thursday night.

The Kuyas drew first blood in front of their home crowd at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium with Stephen Siruma leading the way.

Siruma finished with a personal conference-high 24 points on 9-of-12 field goal shooting including four treys while dishing out eight assists and grabbing six boards for the home squad.

The Kuyas built a 75-59 lead with 3:30 left in the fourth period but went on a dry spell in the next two minutes as the Patriots made a blistering run capped by a Juneric Baloria triple to breathe down the neck of Bulacan, 75-70, with 1:17 left.

Jovit Dela Cruz answered with back-to-back baskets to spark the Kuyas’ closing 8-3 counterattack to seal the win.

Dela Cruz finished with 16 points, James Martinez had 14 points while JR Taganas registered a double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds for Bulacan. Jorey Napoles got 10 markers and 11 boards for the Kuyas.

Baloria paced Paranaque with 16 points, Gab Dagangon had 13 while Harold Arboleda and Jema Vizcarra finished with 11 markers each.

Meanwhile, Muntinlupa inched closer to semis seat after taking down Navotas, 83-77, in the curtain-raiser.

Chito Jaime led the way for the Cagers with 19 points, Felix Apreku added 15 markers and 11 rebounds while Allan Mangahas nailed 14 points.

JP Calvo and Gino Jumao-as had 12 points each for the Clutch.

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