Bacoor relied on James Kwekuteye’s clutch hits to subdue Pasay, winning 79-65 on Wednesday and boosting their drive in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season at the Bacoor Strike Gym.
Kwekuteye, a former star of the San Beda Red Lions, scored 11 points, including back-to-back triples, to secure a safe lead for the Strikers at 73-62, after the Voyagers had threatened at 59-62.
With 1 minute and 30 seconds remaining, Michael Canete completed a three-point play, extending Bacoor’s lead to 76-62 and sealing their 13th victory against 2 losses in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 29-team tournament.
The 6-foot-2 Kwekuteye finished with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals, complementing Jhan McHale Nermal’s 17 points and 6 rebounds, as well as Canete’s 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Jammer Jamito also contributed 11 points and 4 rebounds for the Strikers.
Despite Pasay trailing at 47-62, AJ Coronel scored four points, Kraniel Villoria made back-to-back triples, and Dhon Reverente added a layup to bring the Voyagers closer.
However, Kwekuteye responded in style, snapping Pasay’s 6-game winning streak and pushing the Voyagers down to 11-4.
Axel Inigo led Pasay with 17 points and 3 rebounds, while Coronel contributed 12 points and 8 rebounds.
In earlier games, Pasig City MCW Sports defeated the Manila Stars 89-77, and the Oriental Mindoro Disiplinados narrowly defeated Laguna Krah Asia 78-74.
Pasig relied on Michael Maestre’s 24 points and 13 rebounds, as well as Kenny Roger Rocacurva’s 24 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 assists to improve to 10-6, bringing Manila down to 2-14.
Despite using only a 9-man rotation, the Disiplinados benefited from Paolo Hubalde’s triple-double (10 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists), Kristan Hernandez’s double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds), Genmar Bragais’ 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, and Agem Miranda’s 18 points and 5 rebounds to tie their opponents at 3-13.
The MPBL will return to the Strike Gym on Thursday for another triple-header, featuring Quezon City against Makati at 4:00 PM, Sarangani against Marikina at 6:00 PM, and Paranaque against Caloocan at 8:00 PM.