MPBL: McAloney stars as Cebu hurdles Bacolod

Bob Guerrero on Oct 18, 2019 09:39 AM
 MPBL: McAloney stars as Cebu hurdles Bacolod
"Noong nag turnover ang mga teammate namin kinakausap namin, chine-cheer up namin, na di pa naman huli ang lahat, lamang pa rin kami, so kailangan pa rin stay composed inside (the court)." - Will McAloney

In the battle for bragging rights across the Tanon Strait the Cebu Sharks - Casino Ethyl Alcohol withstood a late comeback to defeat Bacolod Master Sardines, 85-80, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season on Thursday night.

Cebu were the steadier team in front of a partisan crowd in the University of St. La Salle Coliseum in Bacolod.

Cebu go to 7-10 and with new coach Noy Falcasantos at the helm, have the momentum for a playoff push.

Center Will McAloney spearheaded the Sharks offense with 20 points, and they hung on despite careless play in the endgame.

"Noong nag turnover ang mga teammate namin kinakausap namin, chine-cheer up namin, na di pa naman huli ang lahat, lamang pa rin kami, so kailangan pa rin stay composed inside (the court)," said the big man.

Bacolod ended the first quarter with an 10-0 run to take a 22-14 lead. Marc Tallo, Pao Javelona and Mark de la Cruz provided the firepower.

The second quarter was won by the Sharks, with Nichole Ubalde chipping in six points and homegrown player Ralph Dinolan hitting eight as the teams entered the locker room tied at 37.

Cebu silenced the Negrense crowd with a stunning 32-point third quarter marshaled by Patrick Cabahug, Rhaffy Octubre and McAloney. The visitors led 69-57 going into the last 10 minutes.

Mar Villahermosa found his scoring touch early in the fourth for Bacolod, but Cebu kept up the pressure and when McAloney laid the ball in for an 84-72 lead with 2:19 left, the game looked over and the Bacolod fans began filing out of the arena.

That turned out to be a premature move as the home team produced a 6-0 run that included a steal-and-conversion from homegrown hero Javelona.

But Bacolod's shooting touch deserted them in the final seconds and Cebu hung on for the win.

Bacolod are now trailing the South Division playoff aspirants with a 6-11 slate despite 15 points from Marc Tallo, who failed in his attempt to defeat the team from his home province.

In the undercard a hot-shooting Pampanga Giant Lanterns ADG Group of Companies ended the Bacoor Strikers' seven-game win streak with a stylish 76-69 win.

Mark Cruz was adjudged best player of the game thanks to a 10-point, 7-assist game that included two crucial run-stopping baskets in the endgame.

The Giant Lanterns turned the first half into a three-point party, scoring four of them in a row to begin the game, courtesy of Mark Cruz, Reil Cervantes, Travis Thompson and Jeric Fabian.

In the second quarter Dan Alberto knocked in two triples in a row as Pampanga took a 45-30 lead at the half, hitting 11 of 18 three-point attempts or 61 percent at that point.

Bacoor found offensive sparks in Michael Canete and Rocky Acidre, who pitched in two triples as the Kapampangan lead was trimmed to 60-55 at the end of the third.

In the fourth the Bacoorenos rallied, and when Michael Mabulac converted a fast break off a steal, they found themselves in front, 63-62 with six minutes to go. At that instant Pampanga's once 17-point lead was a distant memory.

But ADG Group of Companies unleashed a quick seven-point run off a Cruz triple for a 69-63 lead. The Strikers would not give up, and Ricky Acidre nailed a three-bomb to level the game. That only prompted Cruz to revert to fireman mode once again, pulling an and-1 off a driving lay-up. Mike Juico and Dexter Maiquez followed up with baskets to put the Cavitenos away for good.

Worth noting was league MVP Gab Banal's off-night. The Bacoor ace could only muster three points as he missed all seven of his field goal attempts.

The Strikers were without Oping Sumalinog and Rey Acuno who did not make the trip because of unspecified previous commitments.

Bacoor slips to 15-4 while the Lanterns snap a two-game losing skid and improve to 11-7.

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