MPBL: Sumalinog perfect as Bacoor dumps shorthanded Bataan
Bob Guerrero on Sep 05, 2019 10:18 AM
"Ang mindset ko gusto ko lang manalo kaya china-challenge ko sarili ko na hugutin ang laro ko." - Oping Sumalinog (File photo courtesy of MPBL)
Home court advantage didn't favor the Bataan Risers as they crumbled in the face of Oping Sumalinog's perfect shooting night to fall to the Bacoor Strikers, 93-66, in Wednesday action at the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season.
The crowd at the Bataan People's Center in Balanga saw their Risers unable to deal with the absence of Jai Reyes, Vince Tolentino and Leonard Santillan as they slipped to 6-6. Bacoor assert their status as a South Division powerhouse with a 10-3 record.
Striker Sumalinog won the best player of the game award going 6-for-6 from the field including 4-from-4 from beyond the arc for 16 points.
"Ang mindset ko gusto ko lang manalo kaya china-challenge ko sarili ko na hugutin ang laro ko," explained Sumalinog.
An entertaining first half closed with the visitors in the driver's seat, 46-40 . Byron Villarias was in the zone with 13 first-half points for Bataan while Gab Banal was on target with 11 markers for Chris Gavina's Strikers.
The scoring almost grounded to a halt in the third with neither team hitting a field goal until Sumalinog nailed a triple for Bacoor with 4:35 left in the quarter. A second triple from the former Blue Eagle gave the Strikers a 58-46 advantage with two and a half minutes to go in the period. The Risers were unable to make a field goal in the third quarter until an RJ Llanto triple at the buzzer.
Bataan started the fourth down to the Strikers 51-64. Things got worse for the Risers with a bit under seven minutes left when Chito Jaime was thrown out for kidney-punching RJ Ramirez from behind after Ramirez gave him a hard shove while boxing out. After Ramirez's technical charities and a Dawn Ochea three-ball the Bacoor lead had ballooned to 76-55 and there was no turning back for the Caviteños.
Alvin Pasaol's 17 point haul was Bataan's bright spot in an otherwise desultory evening.
In the early evening game the Mindoro Tamaraws edged the Iloilo United Royals 70-68 to proceed to 6-7. Sandy Ceñal was clutch in the endgame for the Tams.
Iloilo found their stride in the third quarter, with Al Tamsi knocking in 6 points spurring the Ilonggos to lead 57-51. But Mindoro reeled off a 12-0 run from the third to the fourth periods and the Tams took a 63-57 lead. Ceñal and Nico Bolos providing the key baskets in that splurge. Bolos led his team with 15 points. A Donald Gumaru triple with a minute and a half to go pulled the Royals to within 1, 67-66.
But with 25 ticks left Ceñal delivered a top-of-the-key three-ball after he grabbed an offensive rebound to bring his team 4 ahead, 70-66. In the next play Tamsi was fouled while taking a triple and he made the first two of three free throws to cut the lead to two. Iloilo got possession off the miss and Aaron Jeruta's desperation shot was snuffed low by Ceñal. Iloilo had one last chance with .7 seconds left but they botched their alley-oop catch-and-shoot play.
Ceñal won the best player plum with 11 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks. Richard Escoto was Iloilo's most productive scorer with 20 points as his team stumbles to 7-5.
The day began with Zamboanga Family's Brand Sardines comfortably downing the Quezon City Capitals - WEMSAP, 71-60.
Zamboanga guard Robin Roño was in imperious form, knocking in 20 points and adding 7 rebounds. QC were without center Magi Sison, while Family's Brand Sardines welcomed back Harold Arboleda from injury. He scored two points in 18 minutes of action.
A 9-0 run from the Chavacanos near the end of the third quarter, featuring a 5-point spree by Leo de Vera, helped give the Mindanao team a 10-point lead, 59-49, at the start of the final segment. A couple of Roño treys early on helped keep QC as bay as they were unable to mount a significant challenge to Zamboanga.
QC shot a paltry 27% from the field and were led in scoring by Tonino Gonzaga's 15 points. Family's Brand moves above .500 at 7-6 while the Capitals drift further away from the playoff zone with a 5-7 card.