MALOLOS — Third seed Makati-Super Crunch gave sixth-place Bulacan the boot, 86-78, to advance to the 2020 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan North semifinals, Saturday at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center here.
Despite having the homecourt edge against Bulacan, Makati had to forfeit its advantage as the Guadalupe Viejo Gym was deemed unsafe for the players by the league, headed by technical committee head George Magsino.
“Losing the homecourt, sabi ko na we just have to stay together,” said Makati head coach Beaujing Acot.
Already up by five, 72-67, Joseph Sedurifa kickstarted an 8-2 blast, draining a triple before Josh Torralba added a reverse. He also capped it with a booming trey to build an 11-point advantage with 2:52 left, 80-69.
But Kuyas’ Oliver Arim layup with 1:01 left trim their deficit to just seven, 82-75. Bulacan could not find a basket in the remaining seconds, though. Rev Diputado’s last-ditch three then settled the final tally.
“Noong last three minutes of the game, sabi ko treat the game as zero-zero kahit lamang kami by ten that time,” Acot continued.
Cedric Ablaza unloaded 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting, while Torralba also had 22 markers built on three three-pointers.
Jeckster Apinan flaunted his all-around game with 16 points, nine boards, and seven assists. Sedurifa got 11 markers, 13 boards, and five dimes.
On the other hand, Stephen Siruma posted 16 points for Bulacan. Jovit Dela Cruz and JR Alabanza had 12 and 11 markers, respectively, with the latter adding in 11 rebounds.
Makati will tangle against second seed Manila-Frontrow in the semifinals.
Makati-Super Crunch 86 – Ablaza 22, Torralba 22, Apinan 16, Sedurifa 11, Baloria 8, Atkins 3, Cruz 2, Lingganay 2, Manlangit 0, Importante 0.
Bulacan 78 – Siruma 16, Dela Cruz 12, Alabanza 11, Nermal 10, Alvarez 9, Santos 7, Capacio 4, Taganas 3, Arim 3, Diputado 3, Escosio 0.
Quarterscores: 22-25, 41-39, 65-59, 86-78.
Story by Justin Valencia
Photo by Thel Suliva