MPBL: Mabulac drives Bacoor to a fifth straight win at the expense of Caloocan

Bob Guerrero on Jul 13, 2019 09:50 AM
MPBL: Bacoor tops Caloocan in high-scoring OT thriller
"Malaki ang tiwala ko sa team mates ko. Kahit sinong bunutin diyan, kaya mag-perform." - Michael Mabulac, Bacoor Strikers

The Bacoor Strikers delivered in the clutch to beat the Caloocan Victory Liner Supremos 95-94 in overtime on Friday night at the Caloocan Sports Center in one of the most nail-biting matchups of this Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup.

RJ Ramirez's audacious drive and left-handed layup with 1.6 seconds left in OT proved to be the game-winner in a memorable see-saw contest.

Michael Mabulac claimed player of the game honors with 18 points.

"Malaki ang tiwala ko sa team mates ko. Kahit sinong bunutin diyan, kaya mag-perform," said Mabulac.

Bacoor, who missed the services of Gab Banal and Oping Sumalinog, hit 7 of 15 three-pointers in the first half but an 8-0 Caloocan rally to end the second quarter meant the Supremos were just behind by two, 39-37.

The fourth quarter began with Bacoor up 60-55. What ensued was a breathtaking display of high octane hoops with both offenses clicking and matching each other shot-for-shot.

The Strikers had a 82-77 lead with under two minutes to go when Supremo guard Thomas Torres nailed a three, and John Carlos Escalambre converted a fast break to knot the game up at 82. Seconds later Torres eased the ball in after two Caloocan misses to give the Supremos an 84-82 lead with 14 ticks left.

On the ensuing play Mark Anthony Pangilinan of Bacoor was fouled shooting a three. He made the first two of the three free throws to send the game to overtime.

The extension saw the two sides trading baskets again until Ramirez's heroic drive won the game.

A last-gasp trey attempt by Caloocan's Paul Sanga missed to the dismay of the big home crowd. Mabulac, Ramirez, Mark Anthony Pangilinan and Michael Cañete all finished with double figures for the Caviteños.

It's the fifth straight win for 5-1 Bacoor while Caloocan dropped to 1-4.

In the second match Makati Super Crunch stayed a perfect 4-0 with an impressive 76-69 win over the Bataan Risers.

Bataan went into the third quarter leading, 39-34, but Super Crunch began the period 8-0 and ended it 9-1 to lead 63-55. Jeckster Apinan was massive in the run and finished with 20 points.

In the final period the Risers failed to rise to the occasion, amassing only 14 points as their guns fell silent. Makati got timely baskets from Joseph Sedurifa, Cedric Ablaza, and Rudy Lingganay to settle matters.

Bataan falls to 2-3 despite a solid 14-point outing from Jai Reyes. Makati is one of only two perfect sides in the Lakan Cup, San Juan being the other.

Soccsksargen Armor On gave a credible account of themselves in their Lakan Cup debut, but it was the Muntinlupa Cagers Angelis Resort who came up on top 58-55 in Friday's first game.

Without injured Dave Moralde, the Cagers were still in control for the first three quarters, going into the last period up, 44-35.

However, Marlins big Norman Gonzales showed his experience to score most of his 10 points in the payoff canto, as the Mindanao team got as close as three points before running out of steam.

Fil-Indonesian big man Biboy Enguio was terrific for the Muntinlupeños with 12 points and 11 boards. Jamil Ortuoste also impressed with 14 markers. It's the first win of the season in five games for the Cagers while Soccskargen begins their campaign 0-1.

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