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Tiebreaker Times


Martinez takes charge vs Rizal as Bulacan staves off elimination in MPBL

Bulacan averted elimination after picking up its first win against Rizal-Emkai Xentro Mall, 87-79, in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball Invitational, Thursday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Kuyas started the third frame with a 14-1 rally kick-started by Martinez to take a 58-50 advantage.

From there, it was a nip and tuck affair before Bulacan once again stepped on the gas with a 12-point lead with 2:50 left in the fourth.

“Actually, sumigaw lang ako. Nagalit lang ako,” said Kuyas head coach Ralph Rivera about his team’s turnaround. “Kasi for the past two games, yung problem talaga namin is yung rebounds.

“Last game, we were out-rebounded sa sa offensive side, 23-3. It’s more on the effort eh. Nakakainis. It is not on the diagram o ano, more on boxing out lang ang in-eexplain ko sa kanila,” he continued.

James Martinez fired 23 points, including nine in the fourth, on an 8-of-14 shooting clip laced with six rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes and 51 seconds for Bulacan.

Jack Hoyohoy added 15 points and nine boards while Bryan Faundo had 12 markers and five rebounds.

With the victory, the Kuyas tied the Golden Coolers at 1-2 in Pool D. Imus is at the top spot with a perfect 3-0 record while Mindoro (2-1), Manila (2-1), Bulacan (1-2), and General Santos (0-3) round up the group.

“Yung gusto niyong manalo. Kahit anong talk, anong adjustment ang ibigay namin. Yung energy, sacrifice, the usual na ginagawa ng player pag gustong manalo, if hindi nila gagawin, useless yung talks na yon. Medyo naging emotional lang din ako nung halftime sa kanila. Good thing they responded,” he added.

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Jordan Rios top-scored for Rizal with 20 points along with eight rebounds and three dimes while Laurenz Victoria added 16 markers, six assists, and five rebounds.

Bulacan will face Gen San next on Saturday at 12:00 PM while Rizal will go up against Mindoro that day at 2:30 PM.

The Scores:

Bulacan (87) – Martinez 23, Hoyohoy 15, Faundo 12, Arim 9, Caspe 8, Iñigo 7, Escosio 6, Dela Cruz 5, Marquez 2, Bacay 0, Neypes 0.

Rizal (79) – Rios 20, Victoria 16, Sunga 10, Acibar 8, Saret 8, Benitez 6, Serrano 6, Celada 5, Daguro 0, Matias 0, Pretta 0.

Quarterscores: 20-18, 38-41, 65-57, 87-79

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