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Gab Banal, Bacoor Strikers stop Davao Occidental in battle of MPBL South giants

The Bacoor Strikers and the Bulacan Kuyas took down giants in their respective divisions, Thursday evening at Strike Gym in Cavite.

Behind huge buckets by hometown darling Ian Melecio, Bacoor dealt reigning MPBL South Champions Davao Occidental Tigers their first loss in three outings, 73-70.

Melencio scored all nine of his points in the second half, including the go-ahead triple with 6:29 left that sparked a 7-0 run to give Bacoor enough cushion.

Behind Bonbon Custodio, the Tigers sliced the lead down to two with a minute and 23 seconds remaining but a free throw by Gab Banal made sure that Davao Occidental would need a triple to extend the game.

Custodio missed on his triple attempt that led to their first loss in three outings.

Banal led the way for the 2-1 Bacoor with 19 points while Michael Mabulac tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Michael Canete and Oping Sumalinog finished with 10 points each as well.

Billy Ray Robles was limited to just 11 points and nine rebounds in the game while Mark Yee had 10 points and 13 rebounds.

In the opening game, Britt Roma relied on his boys from San Beda to lift the Bulacan Kuyas past the Bicol Volcanoes, 83-81.

Clinging to a one-point lead, Jay-R Taganas cleaned up his misses from the foul stripe with 49 seconds left with a putback to give Bulacan some breathing space.

Though JR Ongteco was able to answer right back, Taganas was able to make a stop on the other end while Dan Sara sealed Bulacan’s second win with a clutch free throw.

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Sara led the Kuyas with 20 points while Taganas gobbled down 13 boards.

Ongteco paced the 1-2 Volcanoes with 15 points and 11 rebounds while Alex Nuyles scattered 13 points, five assists, two rebounds, and a steal.

Ronjay Buenafe was limited to just 11 points on one field goal made and six turnovers.

The Scores:

First Game:

Bulacan 83 Sara 20, Nermal 10, Capacio 9, Alabanza 9, Bonsubre 9, Dela Cruz 8, Taganas 5, Santos 5, Siruma 4, Escosio 2, Diputado 2, De Mesa 0, Arim 0.

Bicol 81 – Ongteco 15, Nuyles 13, Lalata 12, Aldave 11, Buenafe 11, Alday 9, Gusi 4, Manalang 2, Mondragon 2, Milagrosa 2, Sabayo 0, Blanca 0, Guerrero 0.

Quarterscores: 28-17, 48-47, 69-60, 83-81.

Second Game:

Bacoor 73 – Banal 19, Mabulac 10, Canete 10, Sumalinog 10, Montuano 9, Melencio 9, Ramirez 4, Acuna 2, Ochea 0, Aquino 0, Acidre 0, Destacamento 0.

Davao Occidental 70 – Robles 11, Yee 10, Calo 9, Custodio 7, Terso 7, Saldua 6, Balagtas 6, Mocon 6, Raymundo 4, Dumagan 3, Albo 1, Bonleon 0.

Quarterscores: 21-15, 37-33, 59-54, 73-70.

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