MPBL: Alvarez, Alabanza are Bulakeno heroes as they edge Pasay in 2OT

Bob Guerrero on Nov 15, 2019 09:35 AM
 MPBL: Bulacan comes back from 18 to stun Pasay in 2OT
"All credit to our coaches para sa game plan nila na i-work ang big guys nila kase doon nanggagaling offense nila." - JR Alabanza

The Bulacan Kuyas served up a game for the ages in knocking down the Pasay Voyagers, 100-98, in double overtime in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season on Thursday night.

The crowd at the Bulacan Capitol Gym in Malolos witnessed their beloved hometown Kuyas erase an 18 point first half deficit and hit clutch baskets in the end to improve their playoff chances at 13-8.

Homegrown Bulakeno Dennis Santos provided the final points, a trio of free throws in the end of the second extension, to cap the victory.

But Lester Alvarez was also a hero. The former Adamson star sent the game to a second OT with a dramatic late triple.

"All credit to our coaches para sa game plan nila na i-work ang big guys nila kase doon nanggagaling offense nila," said best player of the game JR Alabanza after. Alabanza led Bulacan with 21 points.

This game comes at the heels of Makati's mythical triple overtime win over Zamboanga the night before.

In the second quarter, Pasay uncorked a ferocious 9-0 run featuring a triple from Ron Lastimosa and a pair of buckets from Dhon Reverente. The half ended with a 46-28 Pasay advantage. By the end of the third period the lead had been trimmed to 55-52, with JR Alanbanza capping a 9-0 run with a jam that thrilled the Bulakeno crowd.

But in the fourth Pasay looked set to win when Axel Inigo fired in a three-pointer with four minutes left for a 68-58 Voyagers lead. Bulacan narrowed the gap and with a minute to go and down 74-68, Santos hit both free throws off an unspor after getting hit in the face. In the ensuing possession Rev Diputado split the defense for a layup that pulled them to within 74-72. Two plays later Alabanza was left unmarked near the basket on a baseline inbound and he sent the game into overtime with a short stab.

Pasay's Brian Hilario hit two triples early in the extension, one a four point play, plus another lay-up, but Bulacan would not back down with production from Jhan McHale Nermal. Elmar Moradas hit both of his charities for an 89-86 Pasay advantage with seconds left, but Bulacan's Lester Alvarez ignited the crowd by sinking a desperation triple at the buzzer to force a second OT.

In the end of the second OT and down 98-97, Santos was fouled while taking a three pointer by Dhon Reverente. The big man showed nerves of steel by draining all three free throws for a 100-98 lead with 26 seconds left . Pasay could not score in the last seconds and Bulacan had an unforgettable win that will likely be talked about for years.

Pasay loses a fourth straight game despite welcoming back Jan Jamon from a seven-game absence due to injury.

At 12-10 the Voyagers need momentum to make the playoffs. They are currently ninth in the North Division, a half-game behind Bulacan. Inigo and Reverente were co-topscorers for Pasay with 19 points apiece.

In the afternoon game, the Bacoor Strikers were too good for the Mindoro Tamaraws, winning 76-59.

Bacoor's reigning league MVP Gab Banal returned from a two-game absence due to dengue and proved his fitness in a major way, scoring a game-high 21 points to go along with six dishes.

The Strikers led 41-32 at the half and were up by as much as 16 in the third period. But Mindoro's Mac Baracael got hot at the end of the quarter with a burst of five points to keep pace at 57-49 going into the fourth.

Then a pair of Baracael jumpers pulled the Tams to within three, 58-55 with under seven minutes left in the game. That prompted Banal to reel off seven straight points followed by a Josh Webb basket to restore the cushion at 67-55, a deficit the Mindorenos could not recover from.

Coach Chris Gavina's Bacoor team surges to 17-5 while the Tamaraws skid to 8-15. Mindoro was led in scoring by Mark Doligon's 15 markers.

In the second contest of the day the Caloocan Supremos Victory Liner disposed of the Valenzuela City Carga Backroad Solution, 76- 65, with a decisive push in the last quarter.

The teams were all square at 51 heading into the fourth period. With five minutes left Thomas Torres and Paul Sanga rifled in back-to-back triples for a 62-54 lead. With a minute and a half left Sanga produced the dagger trey for a 71-61 lead that put away Carga Backroad Solution for good.

Before the game concluded tempers flared between Val City's Allan Santos and Supremo Mark Sarangay after the latter's elbow clipped the former on the chin. On a rebound moments later Santos swung wildly at Sarangay. Soon after the two players jawed and Sarangay shoved Santos on the chest. Santos was given an unsportsmanlike 1 and stayed in the game but Sarangay fouled out with a technical.

Copping best player of the game award was Supremo AJ Mandani who corraled 16 points and 5 rebounds including four points in the last five minutes. Rene Pacquiao topsored for Victory Liner with 17 markers.

The Supremos inch up the standings to 13-9. Paolo Hubalde's 18 points were in vain for Valenzuela, who fall to 9-13

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