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Tiebreaker Times

Basketball

Imus punches MPBL QF ticket, await playoff fate


Imus-Buracai de Laiya sealed its playoff seat in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational Pool D via a 90-79 win over Rizal-EMKAI XentroMall, Monday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

And it was the perfect present for Manny Torralba, who called the shots once more for the Bandera after fainting last December 16 due to low blood sugar.

“I’m cleared to coach since yesterday so I’m very thankful kay God na gumaling na agad ako and pati sa team I’m very thankful to them,” said Torralba.

Already up by six at the half, Imus opened the third period with a 10-0 blast to put up a 56-40 lead.

The advantage went up to as much as 23 points through Jhaymo Eguilos’ free throws, 84-61, with 5:38 left in the match.

“They did the game plan, nung first two quarters medyo shaggy dahil sa pagkatalo sa Manila pero I know my team well na they will bounce back. Alam nila kung paano sila mag recover,” said Torralba.

Eguilos finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, and two assists while Adi Santos ended with 17 points and 10 boards in the win.

Leo Najorda added 11 points and four assists while Kurt Reyson drained three treys for nine points.

Imus capped off the elimination round with a 4-1 standing tied with Mindoro. Meanwhile, Manila is trailing at 3-1.

If Manila wins its match against Bulacan later, Imus drop to the second seed while Mindoro will be eliminated. The Stars are a plus-3, the Bandera are a plus-1, while Mindoro is a minus-4 in their heads-up match-ups.

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A Manila loss to Bulacan will result in Imus gaining the top seed in the group as it defeated Mindoro last December 16, 77-70.

Pool D teams will crossover with Pool B squads. Basilan (3-0), Bicol (3-1), and Makati (2-1) are still fighting for the two spots.

On the other hand, Joshua Sarret topped the Golden Coolers with 19 points.

Mark Benitez led had 15 points and five rebounds while Laurenz Victoria added 12 markers.

Rizal finished its campaign with a 1-4 slate.

The Scores:

Imus-Buracai de Laiya 90 – Eguilos 18, Santos 17, Najorda 11, Reyson 9, Rogado 8, Llagas 6, Melencio 6, Mangalino 6, Mescalado 5, Go 2, Tan 2, Medalla 0.

Rizal-EMKAI Xentromall 79 – Saret 19, Benitez 15, Victoria 12, Sunga 7, Serrano 6, Rios 6, Melegrito 5, Dela Pena 4, Celada 3, Vasallo 2, Pretta 0, Daguro 0.

Quarterscores: 19-15, 46-40, 71-55, 90-79.

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