MPBL: Basilan, Mindoro grab big comeback wins,

Bob Guerrero on Oct 24, 2019 09:40 AM
MPBL: Basilan, Mindoro grab big comeback wins
"Nag-usap usap kami sa huddle na hindi pa kami nananalo sa home court ng kalaban. We just wanted to silence the crowd." - Jhapz Bautista

The Basilan Steel - Jumbo Plastic overturned an 18-point deficit to take down the Bacoor Strikers 92-90 in Wednesday night action at the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season.

The packed crowd at the STRIKE Gymnasium in Bacoor saw their hometown team battle hard but fall short to a determined Basilan squad led by Jhapz Bautista, who tallied 18 points.

"Nag-usap usap kami sa huddle na hindi pa kami nananalo sa home court ng kalaban. We just wanted to silence the crowd," said Bautista afterwards.

A Mark Pangilinan triple with eight minutes left in the second quarter gave the Strikers a 32-14 lead and signaled that the game could end up as a blowout. But a variety of Basilan scorers trimmed the lead to 48-44 at the half.

In the third quarter with the Caviteños up 58-51 Striker Michael Mabulac was stretchered off after landing on his back off a Chris Dumapig foul. Mabulac did not return to the game.

Bacoor led 72-67 with ten minutes to go. Pangilinan made a pair of triples early but shock troopers Irven Palencia and Jonathan Uyloan kept them close. But a Bautista lay-up and Jay Collado triple gave the Steel a 92-90 lead with a minute to go. Nick Demusis, Mark Montuano and Pangilinan all had chances to tie or take the lead but they muffed every one.

Jumbo Plastic advance to 11-8 in the table while Bacoor slips to 15-5 despite 22 markers from Montuano and 20 from Demusis.

It was a similar story in the afternoon game when the Mindoro Tamaraws roared back from 20 points down to deny the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards 79-78.

Tonino Gonzaga, Jai Reyes, Adrian Celada and James Martinez were all stroking it in from range in the first half. And when John Paul Sarao eased in a lay-up with seven minutes left in the third the Novo Ecijanos were sitting pretty on a 46-26 lead.

Howecer, Rodel Vaygan had a superb third quarter and the lead was down to 10, 59-49, entering the last period.

A Gonzaga three ball gave the Vanguards a 64-51 advantage early in the fourth but that awakened the Tams, who unleashed a 13-3 tear to pull to within 3, 67-64. Sandy Ceñal had the go-ahead jumper and Mark Doligon and Nico Bolos iced the game from the line for the Tams while Nueva Ecija missed all their last shots save for James Martinez's meaningless triple at the buzzer.

Baracael led Mindoro with 20 points as the Southern Tagalog team goes to 7-12. Nueva Ecija, led by Reyes' 13 markers, tumble to 4-13.

In the second game Manila Stars Frontrow drubbed the SOCCSKSARGEN Marlins Armor On, 104-88, to go to 14-3. The Marlins are holding up the table with a 0-18 mark.

Manila guard Marcy Arellano dished out 18 assists to tie the league record for one game set the other day by Pamboy Raymundo of Gensan.

Marvin Lee's 20 points led Manila, followed by 14 apiece from Carlo Lastimosa and Aris Dionisio.

Manila outrebounded their foes, 56-27, and were never seriously threatened despite Exe Biteng amassing 26 points for Armor On.

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