BIÑAN, LAGUNA — Bicol-LCC Stores leaned on a strong fourth quarter to fend off the also-ran Sarangani Province, 86-72, in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Cup here at the Alonte Sports Arena, Tuesday.
Down by three points, Alwyn Alday poured in five points in a crucial 9-0 swing to give Bicol the lead, 66-60, with 7:31 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Ronjay Buenafe, Jolas Guerrero, and Jonathan Aldave then picked up the scoring cudgels. Together, they led the Volcanoes to an 82-69 advantage with 1:28 left to shut down Sarangani Province.
Aldave knocked in his free throws with 35.6 seconds remaining, giving Bicol its biggest advantage in the game at 16 points, 86-70.
“Grabe sobrang importante ‘to kaya nga medyo sabi ko nga sa kanila, kailangan namin ‘to para magkaroon kami ng magandang edge sa kalaban,” said Bicol-LCC Stores head coach Mon Kallos.
Buenafe fired 26 points on 5-of-14 shooting from the field while also draining 14-of-16 from the charity stripe. The former NLEX Road Warrior also tallied seven boards, six assists, and two steals.
Bicol has tightened its grip on the eight seed with a 14-13 record in the South Division.
Alday added 20 points and five boards for the Volcanoes, while Aldave had 12 markers, three boards, and two assists.
Meanwhile, Pari Llagas top-scored the cellar-dwelling Sarangani Province with 21 points and seven boards.
Sarangani Province suffered its 26th loss in 27 outings.
Bicol-LCC Stores (86) – Buenafe 26, Alday 20, Aldave 12, Lalata 9, Mondragon 7, Garcia 7, Guerrero 3, Ongteco 2, Manalang 0, Gusi 0, Alfonso 0.
Sarangani Province (72) – Llagas 21, Dionson 13, Alih 6, Dimapiles 5, Soriano 4, Morada 3, Trinidad 3, Nocos 2, Cabanog 2, Medalla 1, Timon 0, Macantal 0, Ballon 0, Clavel 0.
Quarterscores: 13-18, 36-38, 57-58, 86-72.
Story by Jonash Dannug
Photo by Thel Suliva
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