Neophyte Bacoor continued to impress in its season debut, as it remains unbeaten in three games following a narrow 83-81 victory against the Quezon City Capitals at the resumption of the Metro League Reinforced (2nd) Conference Tuesday night at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
Four players scored in double figures for the Strikers, led by King Descamanto with an efficient 15 points, nine rebounds, and three assists in just 13 minutes of action.
Paolo Castro also added 15 point and three assists, while RJ Ramirez and Mark Doligon chipped in 10 points apiece for Bacoor Strike sa Serbisyo, which did just enough in the late game to hold on for the win.
Behind Descamento, Castro, and Ramirez, the Strikers ran away with a huge 82-74 gap in the last 1:29 mark. But the Junior Capitals then stormed back with a 7-1 run capped by Roque Estoce’s and-one in the last 41 seconds, to trim the deficit, 81-83.
Good thing for Bacoor, Quezon City muffed its potential game-tying possession with a Jefferson Comia’s costly error en route to a close victory.
The Strikers improved to 3-0 win-loss card to remain on top of the South Division of the M-League that is backed by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), and with Barangay 143 as its league presenter.
In other games, the Manila-INGCO Stars finally scored a breakthrough win after an easy 95-73 dispatching of still winless Pateros-Metro Asia while host team Caloocan also did not disappoint in front of its home fans with a thrilling 77-76 victory over neighbor and reigning all-Filipino titlist Valenzuela.
Estoce and Comia, dropped 18 and 17 points, respectively, for Quezon City, which slid to 2-2 slate in the North Division of this tourney that also has Synergy 88, World Balance, Excellent Noodles and San Miguel Corporation as major sponsors.
Former PBA player Carlo Lastimosa posted 23 points, three rebounds, and three assists in just 18 minutes of play. Import Moustaph Arafat put up 15 points, 16 rebounds, and four assists for the Manila-INGCO Stars who improved to 1-2.
On the other hand, Eric Mabazza had 16 points for Pateros who stayed winless with 0-2 record.
The Supremos leaned on a balanced attack, as five cagers barged into twin-digit scoring led by Joseph Brutas with 21 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
Robbi Darang also added 18 points and 10 assists for Caloocan, which upped its mark to 2-2 to momentarily snatch the lead in the Northern Division of this M-League which has SMS Global Technologies, Inc. as official livestream & technology partner, Spalding as official ball, Team Rebel Sports as official outfitter, PLDT as official internet provider, and Manila Bulletin as media partner.
Reneford Ruaya collected 20 points and 10 rebounds that served as the only bright spot for Valenzuela, which had its first loss in two games in the tourney which is also supported by Gerry’s Grill, Summit Water, Alcoplus and Nature’s Spring.
Bacoor Strike sa Serbisyo 83 — Castro 15, Descamento 15, Ramirez 10, Doligon 10, Montuano 9, Mabulac 8, Miranda 6, Ochea 2, Acuna 2, Aquino 2, Maligon 2, Orizu 2, Malabag 0, Mendoza 0.
Quezon City 81 –– Estoce 18, Comia 17, Ouattara 12, Espanola 11, Mabayo 11, Mahari 5, Abarcar 3, Vasallo 2, Asuncion 2, Melegrito 0, Belosillo 0, Riva 0, Macaballug 0, Udjan 0.
Quarterscores: 16-9, 37-32, 55-51, 83-81.
Manila-INGCO 95 –– Lastmosa 23, Celada 17, Arafat 15, Acosta 8, Mendoza 7, Yu 6, Laude 5, Acibar 5, Camacho 4, Balagtas 3, Manalo 2, Orquina 0, King 0.
Pateros-Metro Asia 73 –– Mabazza 16, Quinga 12, Asis 11, Arellano 7, Pacleb 7, Flores 6, Velchez 6, Ongteco 3, Anasco 3, Tabasan 2, Bernabe 0, Marcial0, Cruz 0, Cayangan 0, Go 0.
Quarterscores: 24-22, 41-31, 64-52, 31-21.
Caloocan 77 — Brutas 21, Darang 18, Enriquez12, Niang 12, Bauzon 11, Sombero 2, Sy 1, Ngo 0, Tay 0, Flores 0.
Valenzuela 76 — Ruaya 20, Monteclaro 12, Laminou 8, Diego 8, Pascua 7, Rivera 6, Dedicatoria 4, Tayongtong 4, Natividad 4, Sta. Maria 3, Dela Cruz 0, Kalaw 0, Esplana 0,
Quarterscores: 20-16, 54-32, 65-51, 77-76.