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MPBL: Imus earns emotional win vs Mindoro as coach faints late in the game


Imus-Buracai de Laiya closed in on one of the quarterfinals slots in Pool D after holding off Mindoro-EOG Burlington, 77-70, in a battle of the unbeaten in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational, Thursday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

It was a morale-boosting win for Imus — whose head coach Manny Torralba fainted midway through the fourth quarter after an argument with the referees.

“Bumaba yung sugar niya, si coach Manny [Torralba] bumaba yung sugar niya. Ganun talaga, too much pressure at merong nakain na hindi maganda kaya he needs to rest,” said assistant coach Bang Tumapat, a childhood friend of Torralba.

“Sinensyasan niya lang ako na take over kaya tinapos ko lang yung game,” he added.

The league’s medical staff said that Torralba experienced high blood pressure while also forgetting his insulin maintenance prior to the match. The veteran coach maintained consciousness and has been sent to San Juan de Dios Educational Foundation Inc. – Hospital.

2021-Chooks-MPBL-Imus-vs-Mindoro-Ian-Melencio MPBL: Imus earns emotional win vs Mindoro as coach faints late in the game Basketball MPBL News  - philippine sports news

Leo Najorda and Ian Melencio joined forces for Imus with the former pouring 21 points and five rebounds and the latter supplying 20 points and five rebounds.

With Imus up by nine points, Ryusei Koga drilled a three while Ronnie Matias followed it up with a layup to slice the lead to four, 68-72, with 1:32 left in the match.

Najorda and Melencio then took over for the Buracai de Laiya-backed team, putting up a 6-0 rally to fend off the pesky Tamaraws.

Jhaymo Eguilos finished with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds for the 3-0 Imus.

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Meanwhile, Koga paced Mindoro with 13 points, four rebounds, and four assists.

The Tamaraws, who absorbed their first loss in the group stage, dropped to 2-1 in Pool D tied with Manila at the second spot.

Rizal (1-1), Bulacan (0-2), and Gen San (0-3) followed, respectively.

Imus will take on Manila next tomorrow, Friday at 2:30 PM while Mindoro faces Rizal on Saturday also at 2:30 PM.

The Scores:

Imus (77) – Najorda 21, Melencio 20, Eguilos 16, Rogado 9, Bragais 4, Tan 2, Reyson 2, Santos 2, Llagas 1, Fuentes 0, Mangalino 0, Medalla 0.

Mindoro (70) – Koga 13, Castro 11, Liwag 10, Cosejo 9, Baetiong 8, Matias 8, Mariano 5, Mallari 4, Villapando 2, Diputado 0, Saldana 0.

Quarterscores: 18-11, 34-26, 51-44, 77-70

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