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MPBL: Jhan Nermal takes charge as Bacoor escapes Iloilo in OT


Bacoor and Negros both prevailed in overtime to defeat their rivals in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season on Tuesday at the Bacoor Strikers Gymnasium.

The Bacoor City Strikers managed to hold the Iloilo United Royals to a single basket while making six free throws in the final 2 minutes and 22 seconds, securing a come-from-behind 74-69 victory.

With the win, Bacoor improved their record to 12-2 in the elimination round of the 29-team tournament.

Meanwhile, the Negros Muscovados scored six crucial points in the closing moments to overcome Laguna Krah Asia with a score of 76-72, raising their record to 5-9.

Trailing by as many as 13 points at 38-51, the Strikers fought back, led by Jhan McHale Nermal, who contributed 11 points during an 11-point surge to take the lead at 65-62.

However, Iloilo’s Joshua Flores hit a three-pointer with 4.6 seconds left to force overtime.

In the extra period, Nermal opened with another three-pointer, and the Strikers converted 6 of 10 free throws, while the United Royals managed only four points.

The loss marked the fourth consecutive defeat for Iloilo, dropping them to 5-9.

Nermal finished with an impressive performance of 24 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, along with 14 rebounds and 3 assists for Bacoor.

James Kwekuteye contributed 11 points and 6 rebounds, while Mark Yee added 7 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

For Iloilo, Tony Ynot had 16 points and 8 rebounds, Joshua Flores scored 14 points, Justine Sanchez contributed 13 points, Marlon Basco had 12 points, and CJ Catapusan added 11 points and 13 rebounds.

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Negros squandered a 42-22 lead but managed to hold on for the win, handing Laguna their 12th loss in 15 outings.

Pao Javelona led the Muscovados with 13 points, followed by Nemesis Dela Cruz with 12 points and Itchie Altamirano with 10 points.

In the opening game, as predicted, Imus SV Squad defeated Valenzuela XUR Homes Realty Inc. with a score of 80-66, improving their record to 6-7.

Johnsherick Estrada shone for Imus with 17 points, while Carlo Lastimosa contributed 13 points, Bryan Faundo had 10 points and 9 rebounds, and YouTube star Poypoy Actub added 10 points.

Valenzuela received 16 points from Darell Manliguez and 14 points along with 12 rebounds from Michael Macion.

The MPBL action will continue on Thursday at the Bren Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando with a triple bill: Bacolod versus Rizal at 4 p.m., Caloocan against Manila at 6 p.m., and Pasig against Pampanga at 8 p.m.

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