MPBL: Siruma is key as Bulacan hangs on for victory

Bob Guerrero on Aug 18, 2019 06:08 AM
MPBL: Bulacan withstands fightback to beat Mindoro
"Role player lang ako, kahit sino pwede mag-best player." - Stephen Siruma

The Bulacan Kuyas fended off a late-game challenge by the Mindoro Tamaraws to take a 74-69 win in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season on Friday night.

The Kuyas shifted home court for this game, playing in the Baliwag Star Arena instead of their usual venue in Malolos.

Roldan Sara topscored for Bulacan with 12 points but Stephen Siruma, with 10 points and five rebounds, got the nod for player of the game.

"Role player lang ako, kahit sino pwede mag-best player, said the native Bulakeno after the game.

Sara, and Jhan McHale Nermal contributed to a big 28-point third quarter that saw the Kuyas take a seemingly safe 19-point lead into the last period.

Mindoro had struggled in the first half with only 21 total points but in the final ten minutes they found their rhythm with a 13-2 start to the quarter featuring treys from Kim Cinco and Rodel Vaygan. With two minutes to go the deficit went all the way down to four after Mac Baracael hit two free throws.

However, an Oliver Arim conversion off a Sara pass and four free throws from both of them helped seal the contest.

Vaygan led all scorers with 16 points but the Tams' dismal 33 percent field goal shooting clip made winning a bridge too far. Bulacan creeps over .500 with a 6-5 card while Mindoro is grasping for form at 3-7.

In the middle game of the schedule, Gensan Warriors Burlington defeated the Muntinlupa Cagers - Angelis Resort, 84-61. Burlington pulled away with a 26-point third quarter.

Soon after the second half began Gensan uncorked a 10-0 run capped by a John Orbeta triple that gave them a 49-36 lead that proved to be a platform for success. Orbeta led all scorers with 17 points.

Muntinlupa fell short in many aspects of the game but notably from beyond the arc. The Muntinlupeños could only hit 4 of 22 from three point range while in contrast Gensan went 46%, 12 for 26.

John Ortuoste led the Cagers with 12 points but they drop to 3-8 in the standings while Gensan keeps pace with the league's best on 8-2.

The day's slate of games began with the Battle of The Buenafe Cousins. Ronjay's Bicol Volcanoes LCC Malls lorded it over Ryan's Navotas Uni-Pak Sardines 88-73.

Amazingly, both led their respective clubs in scoring with 15 points. Ryan Buenafe had a strong first half with a pair of triples and 10 points as Navotas led 44-41 after 20 minutes.

But rather than erupt, Bicol played the part of slow-moving magma flow, taking the lead and gradually engulfing their opponent throughout the second half. A Hafer Mondragon triple and Ronjay's pair of charities put LCC Malls up 82-68 with under four minutes to go, effectively settling matters.

Bicol goes to 6-5, ending a two-game losing streak while Navotas suffers it's third straight loss and now sports a 2-6 card.

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