Cheered on by a wild home crowd, the Caloocan Supremos repelled their heavily-favored visitors to forge a winner-take-all Game Three in the respective Metro League Finals showdown late Friday night at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
Caloocan-Gerry’s Grill fended off Bacoor Strike sa Serbisyo in Game 2 of their Reinforced Conference best-of-3 Finals, 78-73, in this tournament that is backed by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) with Barangay 143 as league presentor.
Both the Caloocan junior and men’s squads thus tied the series at 1-1 with a golden chance to cap off an epic twinkill in the deciding Game Three of both the 17-and-under and reinforced titular showdowns slated either Saturday or Sunday next week at the Strike Gym in Bacoor.
Led by the triumvirate of Robbie Marion Darang, Johnnel Rey Bauzon and Joseph Brutas, the Caloocan Supremos plunged back to action first and took care of business, dealing previously unbeaten Bacoor Strikers their first and lone loss in 12 games in the tournament.
Darang put up 16 markers, five boards, and seven assists; Bauzon added 18 points; while Brutas also chipped in 16 points, which came with six rebounds and four assists to lead the Supremos in a monumental win that avenged their 72-78 Game One loss in the M-League Reinforced Finals which is also bankrolled by Synergy 88, World Balance, Excellent Noodles and San Miguel Corporation as major sponsors.
Caloocan actually led early with a 38-25 lead and had control of the game but Bacoor, showing the form that made it the only unbeaten team since the eliminations, crept back and was just within striking distance when Darang led his team to a 73-63 lead midway through the final frame and the Supremos simply coasted along to the win.
RJ Ramirez and King Descamento served as the only bright spots with 22 and 15 points respectively for Bacoor Strikers, whose dream of sweeping the entire M-League tournament came to an abrupt end.
Caloocan-Gerry’s Grill 78 – Darang 19, Bauzon 18, Brutas 16, De Mesa 11, Niang 7, Sombero 5, De Leon 2, Tay 0, Enriquez 0
Bacoor Strike sa Serbisyo 73 – Ramirez 22, Descamento 15, Pangilinan 12, Montuano 6, Orizu 5, Malabag 5, Miranda 4, Maligon 2, Bugarin 2, Aquino 0
Quarterscores: 11-7, 38-25, 60-45, 78-73
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