Bacoor Strike sa Serbisyo snatched a 93-85 overtime win over Valenzuela to stay undefeated and clinch one of the top two spots in the South Division of the Metro League Reinforced (Second) Conference Thursday night at the Hagonoy Sports Complex in Taguig City.
Down by two in the last seven seconds of regulation, 78-80, Mark Montuano came to the rescue for the Strikers as he connected on a game-tying lay-up at the buzzer off a Mark Doligon pass to force extra time.
There was no stopping the undermanned Bacoor squad since then as Montuano went on to add five more points in OT with the help of Doligon and Paolo Castro to secure the hard-earned victory against the All Filipino conference champion Valenzuela, completing the Strikers’ comeback from deficits of as much as 15 near the end of the third period and by 10 with four minutes left in regulation.
Montuano finished with 23 points and nine rebounds to lead the way for the Strikers who stayed immaculate with 7-0 record and sealed one of the South Division’s top two seeds and the all-important twice-to-beat incentive heading into the quarterfinals of this M-League that is backed by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and with Barangay 143 as league presentor.
Providing the much-needed lift for Montuano were other gunners Doligon and Castro who posted 21 and 20 markers, respectively.
In the absence of big men Michael Mabulac and import Prince Orizu, King Descamento stepped up big time with an all-around game of 11 points, 11 boards on top of three assists, two steals and three blocks for Bacoor.
On the other hand, Erwin Sta. Maria tallied 20 points and four rebounds for the Workhorses who fell to 2-3 in the North Division of the M-League which also has SMS Global Technologies, Inc. as official livestream and technology partner, Spalding as official ball, Team Rebel Sports as official outfitter, and PLDT as official internet provider.
In the other game, home team Generals trounced Pasigueño, 86-54, to follow Bacoor onto the post-season of this import-flavored M-League conference also bankrolled by Synergy 88, World Balance, Excellent Noodles and San Miguel Corporation.
Reinforcement Emmanuel Ojoula dropped 27 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in just 26 minutes of action for the Generals, who have won their last two games by an average margin of 35.0 points.
Richmond Gilbero and Lerry John Mayo also chipped in 14 and 10 points, respectively for Taguig which upped its slate to 5-2 to also stay on track of securing the other twice-to-beat edge in the South Division.
Import Eugene Toba Okwuchukwu, meanwhile, was the lone player who scored in double figures for the Metro-Asia backed Pasigueno with 20 points and 11 boards.
This loss served as the major blow for the playoff chance of Pasig which slid to 1-5 in the South Division of the M-League that is also supported by Gerry’s Grill, Summit Water, Alcoplus, Nature’s Spring and Goodfellow.
Bacoor Strike sa Serbisyo 93 — Montuano 23. Doligon 21, Castro 20, Descamento 11, Ochea 7, Malabag 5, Acuna 2, Miranda 2, Pangilinan 2, Maligon 0
Valenzuela-San Marino 85 — Sta. Maria 20, Esplana 12, Tayongtong 11, Ruaya 9, Natividad 7, Dedicatoria 5, Monteclaro 5, Pascua 4, Laminou 4, Dela Cruz 4, Kalaw 2, Diego 2, Dulalia 0,
Quarterscores: 19-24, 38-41, 51-63, 80-80, 93-85
Taguig 86 — Ojuola 27, Gilbero 14, Mayo 10, Uyloan 6, Guiyab 0, Alcantara 5, Lontoc 4, Rublico 4, Caduada 2, Orodio 2, Oliveria 2, Subrabas 2, Sampurna 2, Gozum 0
Pasig 54 — Okwuchukwu 20, Gatchalian 9, Sorela 8, Caranguian 7, Chavenia 6, Medina 4, Gaco 0, Gallano 0, Doroteo 0, Rodriguez 0,
Quarterscores: 28-18, 47-27, 67-41, 86-54