Home team Bacoor moved one win away from a Cinderella Metro League Reinforced (Second) Conference finish by defeating Caloocan, Tuesday night at the Strike Gym in Bacoor City, Cavite.
Bacoor Strike sa Serbisyo fended off Caloocan-Gerry’s Grill, 78-72, for a 1-0 lead in its best-of-three Metro Finals series against the Supremos.
Bacoor can go for the kill on Friday at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
Mark Pangilinan racked up a team-high 15 points to go with three assists and two rebounds to lead the unbeaten Strikers who needed to douse the Supremos’ late comeback bid in the men’s championship opener, moving one a win away from snaring the trophy right in its first try in this import-flavored conference of M-League that is backed by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and with Barangay 143 as league presentor.
The Strikers saw their 13-point lead early in the fourth quarter trimmed down to four, 72-76, with 3:27 left as Joseph Brutas sparked the Supremos’ fightback.
Bacoor sank five straight free throws to restore a 74-65 advantage with 1:44 remaining to practically secure the Game 1 win.
Nigerian big man and top Best Import candidate Prince Orizu pumped in a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds while King Descamento chipped in a 12-markers and 11-rebound double-double for the Strikers, who ruled the South Division of the tourney which has major sponsors in Synergy 88, World Balance, Excellent Noodles and San Miguel Corporation.
Brutas had 16 points and five rebounds, Reynaldo De Mesa had 13 markers even as Robbie Darang and Abdoulaye Niang had 11 points each for Caloocan, which stunned Quezon City in the North Division finals of this M-League that is also supported by Gerry’s Grill, Summit Water, Alcoplus, Nature’s Spring and Goodfellow.
Bacoor Strike sa Serbisyo 78 – Pangilinan 15, Orizu 13, Descamento 12, Castro 8, Ramirez 8, Aquino 7, Malabag 7, Acuna 4, Bugarin 2, Montuano 2, Miranda 0, Ochea 0
Caloocan-Gerry’s Grill 72 – Brutas 16, De Mesa 13, Darang 11, Niang 11, De Leon 8, Enriquez 6, Bauzon 4, Sombero 2, Tay 1
Quarterscores: 27-18, 49-35, 61-52, 78-72