MALOLOS, BULACAN – Bulacan averted disaster after coming out with a 76-69 victory against cellar-dwelling Sarangani Province, 76-69, in the 2019 MPBL/Chooks-to-Go Lakan Cup here at the Capitol Gymnasium, Tuesday.
Down by as much as seven points entering the final frame, Bulacan managed to snatch the lead off a three-pointer from Lester Alvarez with 6:23 remaining left in the game, 59-58.
Pari Llagas was able to give Sarangani back the advantage, but it was short-lived. Jovit Dela Cruz, Stephen Siruma, and Dennis Santos conspired with Alvarez in a 9-0 rally to give the Kuyas a 68-60 advantage with 3:32 on the clock.
Llagas and Miko Estrellante brought Sarangani to as close as four points, but Alvarez slammed the doors on Sarangani with a floater in the 1:11 mark of the game.
“Well, kailangan naming maging disciplined. Ni-remind ko lang sila dahil ‘yung first three quarters, medyo relaxed eh. Bumalik lang kami sa mga ginagawa namin nang maayos,” said Bulacan head coach Kerwin McCoy on his team’s slow start.
Alvarez unloaded 20 points and four assists to help keep the fourth spot in the Northern Division with a 17-8 win-loss record.
JR Taganas chipped in eight points and 10 rebounds. Meanwhile, Siruma and Santos also had eight markers apiece in Bulacan’s fourth-straight win.
Meanwhile, Llagas paced Sarangani – who dropped to 1-24 in the Southern Division – with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Bulacan (76) – Alvarez 20, Taganas 8, Siruma 8, Santos 8, Dela Cruz 7, Alabanza 7, Diputado 6, Nermal 6, Escosio 4, Mendoza 2, Arim 0, De Mesa 0
Sarangani Province (69) – Llagas 14, Catacutan 13, Estrellante 10, Medalla 7, Clavel 6, Ballon 6, Dimapiles 4, Morada 3, Trinidad 2, Eman 2, Cabanog 2, Timon 0, Macantal 0, Nocos 0, Alih 0
Quarterscores: 15-18, 36-31, 46-52, 76-69
Story by Jonash Dannug
Photo by Thel Suliva