An influential Gab Banal's helps Bacoor deny their fellow Southern Tagalog team.
Bob Guerrero on Oct 05, 2019 09:29 AM
"At halftime we (the players) talked among ourselves and agreed that even without our coach, we had to give the fans what they deserved." - Gab Banal (FILE PHOTO: Josh Albelda)
The Bacoor City Strikers relied on a boisterous home crowd and an inspired Gab Banal to subdue Biñan City Luxx White Krah 78-70 in Thursday night's main game of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season.
The Strikers win the battle for bragging rights across San Pedro to advance to 14-3 in the South Division, a half-point shy of Davao Occidental's slate. Biñan slides to 6-11.
The Strikers did an excellent job of keeping the ship afloat even if they were without head coach Chris Gavina - who had personal matters to attend to - for almost all of the game. "At halftime we (the players) talked among ourselves and agreed that even without our coach, we had to give the fans what they deserved," said Banal, whose stellar stat line read 21 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.
Despite a 12-point first half from Krah's Macky Acosta, the home side led 39-32 at the half. Early in the third period Bacoor's new Filipino-American signing Nick Demusis provided the highlight of the evening, collecting an inch-perfect pass from RJ Ramirez for a two-handed alley-oop dunk that gave the Strikers a 41-34 lead.
Bacoor suffered a blow with four minutes left in the quarter when Michael Mabulac fouled out with a technical. The starter was having a solid outing with 6 points and 7 rebounds. Nonetheless, the Strikers took a 52-47 lead into the final period.
Bacoor put the game away with a torrid 13-2 run to begin the last segment, capped by a Banal triple.
The Laguneños battled hard and got to within 5 with a Mike Parala and-1 with 33 ticks left but the Strikers held on for the win.
King Zean Destacamento produced a superb 14-point, 14-rebound night for Bacoor, well over his season average of 2.4 points and 4.2 caroms a game.
On the flip side Acosta led Biñan with 25 points.
Caloocan 81 - 73 Bicol
The early evening match up saw the Caloocan Supremos - Victory Liner brush away Bicol Volcanoes LCC Stores 81-73.
Supremos coach John Kallos gets the victory over his brother Monel Kallos, who is the Volcanoes' chief tactician.
Supremo big man John Ambulodto had a breakout game, pouring in 20 points and 10 rebounds. His point average going into the game was just 4.6 ppg.
The Monumento Boys entered the fourth quarter up 61-46 with Ambulodto scoring Victory Liner's last three buckets of the third. But midway through the final segment Bicol unspooled a 10-2 run featuring a triple from Ronjay Buenafe and two baskets from Alwyn Alday, to pull to within five, 66-61.
But AJ Mandani, Rene Pacquiao, and Ambulodto found the target down the stretch to grab the win.
Caloocan goes to 10-7, while LCC Stores loses a fifth straight game to tumble to 8-10 and risk falling out of the playoff zone.
Cebu 89 - 57 Socckskargen
In the first game of the day the Cebu Sharks - Casino Ethyl Alcohol mauled the SOCCSKSARGEN Marlins - Armor On 89-57.
The Cebuanos improve to 6-9 and snap a three-game skid while the Marlins are still waiting for their first win after 15 games.
Will McAloney was massive for the Cebuanos with 27 points and 17 rebounds while Michael Cenita produced 13 markers for Casino.
A listless Marlins team dug themselves a huge hole as early as the first quarter, when they scored only 6 points and added just 11 more in the second period.
Jake Diwa was Armor On's leading source of points with 17.