Bacoor Strike sa Serbisyo remained flawless, while Manila-INGCO nailed a historic victory in the heating up Metro League Reinforced (Second) Conference, Saturday night at the Hagonoy Sports Complex in Taguig.
The Strikers held on to a narrow 80-77 win over home team Taguig Generals, to extend their unbeaten streak to six games in this import-flavored M-League conference that is backed by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and with Barangay 143 as league presentor.
Former FEU Tamaraw Prince Orizu hauled down a near double-double of 18 points and nine rebounds to pace the road team Bacoor, which nearly lost a comfortable lead in the waning minutes.
After three close quarters, Bacoor managed to create a 77-69 separation with still 1:22 to go off a Mark Montuano lay-up. The Generals then unleashed an uprising to strike within 75-77 in the last 43 seconds.
Fortunately for the league-leading Strikers, Orizu came to the rescue with an emphatic dunk the next possession to seal the deal for Bacoor, which remained as the only undefeated team in the M-League, which has Synergy 88, World Balance, Excellent Noodles and San Miguel Corporation as major sponsors.
Backstopping the Nigerian Orizu was Montuano with 14 points. Meanwhile, Mark Doligon and Paolo Castro added 11 markers apiece.
Import Emmanuel Ojuola had his 25 points and nine rebounds wasted for Taguig, which slid to 2-3 in the South Division of the M-League, which also has as SMS Global Technologies, Inc. as official livestream and technology partner, Spalding as official ball, Team Rebel Sports as official outfitter, and PLDT as official internet provider.
Meanwhile, even the early struggle of the Manila Stars did not stop them from setting the season’s highest scoring record in the M-League following their huge 147-142 win over the Pasiguenos.
Ex-PBA player Carlo Lastimosa racked up 31 points and five rebounds in just 20 minutes of play to lead the Stars, who erupted for 46 markers in the first quarter alone that set the stage for their 77-64 lead after two quarters, which was also the highest scoring half in M-League history.
Eight more players scored in double digits for Manila which stopped its bleeding, hiking its mark at 2-3 in the North Division of M-League that is also supported by Gerry’s Grill, Summit Water, Alcoplus, Nature’s Spring and Goodfellow.
Timoteo Gatchalian III and Eduardo Doroteo Jr, meanwhile, posted 27 and 26 points respectively, in a losing cause for the Pasigueños who fell to 2-3 in the South Division.
Manila 147 –– Lastimosa 31, Camacho 19, Arafat 17, Acosta 16, Castro 12, Celada 12, Laude 12, Mendoza 10, Acibar 8, Orquina 6, Yu 4, Manalo 0, Alban 0, Balagtas 0
Pasig 142 — Gatchalian 27, Doroteo 26, Koga 22, Caranguian 19, Gallano 13, Chavenia 8, Rodriguez 8, Reyes 0
Quarterscores: 46-37, 77-64, 119-108, 147-142
Bacoor 80 — Orizu 18, Montuano 14, Doligon 11, Castro 11, Descamento 8, Malabag 7, Maligon 4, Ochea 4, Acuna 3, Miranda 0, Bugarin 0, Pangilinan 0
Taguig 77 — Ojuola 25, Mayo 15, Grevanni 15, Uyloan 6, Oliveria 4, Francisco 3, Sampuna 3, Gilbero 2, Guiyab 2, Gozum 2, Monte 0, Caduada 0, Orodio 0, Alcantara 0, Lontoc 0.
Quarterscores: 18-22, 37-37, 56-51, 80-77