Batangas-Tanduay sealed a post-season berth in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season after a 63-54 victory over the also-ran Bacolod-Master Sardines, Tuesday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.
The Athletics improved to 17-11, sixth in the Southern division. On the other hand, Bacolod slipped to 10-19, 11th in the same conference.
Simon Camacho and Yankee Haruna opened the payoff period with back-to-back baskets to trim Bacolod’s deficit to just six, 50-44. Batangas then retaliated with 13 unanswered points — capped by Jason Melano’s isolation — to take the lead for good, 63-44.
“Defensively, ang ganda ng pinakita namin, that’s why okay kami noong dulo. This is by far our best game this season,” said Batangas coach Woody Co.
Genmar Bragais exploded with 21 points off the bench on an 8-for-10 shooting clip and a perfect 4-of-4 from downtown, on top of three assists and two rebounds.
Jason Melano added 14 markers and nine rebounds. Meanwhile, Jeff Viernes chipped in 10 points, six dimes, five boards, and four steals.
The Athletics reserves did most of the damage with 42 points while Bacolod’s bench only managed 25.
On the other hand, Haruna paced Bacolod with 11 points and eight rebounds. Jessie Saitanan and Edgar Charcos got 10 markers apiece.
Batangas-Tanduay 63 – Bragais 21, Melano 14, Viernes 10, Basibas 5, Eguilos 4, Santos 4, Suerte 3, Tungcab 2, Koga 0, Sara 0, Olivares 0, Mescallado 0, Perez 0.
Bacolod-Masters Sardines 54 – Haruna 11, Charcos 10, Saitanan 10, Adamos 8, Camacho 6, Gayosa 3, Dela Cruz 2, Bernardo 2, Cañada 2, Villahermosa 0, Dimas 0, Cauilan 0, Custodio 0.
Quarterscores: 18-11, 32-26, 50-40, 63-54.
Story by Justin Valencia
Photo by Nicks Hernandez