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Tiebreaker Times


Ryusei Koga takes charge late as Mindoro escapes Manila in MPBL

Mindoro-EOG Burlington escaped Manila, 80-77, to capture its first win in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational powered by TM, Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Ryusei Koga connected on the dagger to help fend off the pesky Stars. He fired 17 points along with four assists and three rebounds.

It was an emotional win for the former San Beda standout. He dedicated the win to his late grandfather Antonio Geralao, who passed away last November 3.

“It’s my lolo’s 40th day today so before the game talagang pinuntahan ko yung puntod niya, nag dasal ako. Super fan ko siya, every game ko noon nanonood siya kaya sabi ko yung game na ‘to para sa kaniya,” shared Koga.

Koga hit a three-pointer to stretch the Tamaraws’ advantage to five, 78-73, with 1:46 left in the game.

Mark Neil Cruz answered right back with a layup before Brent Paraiso secured two free throws to slice Mindoro’s lead to two with 4.1 seconds left in the game.

Two freebies from James Castro then iced the game for the Tamaraws.

“If you notice yung mga players namin they’re more familiar with each other. So kasi maigsi nga lang ‘yung preparation, so we formed a team na kilala talaga namin,” said Mindoro head coach Britt Reroma.

Castro also provided 17 points for the Tamaraws, who shot 51.6-percent from rainbow country.

Alvin Baetiong chipped in 13 points and six rebounds. Jeymark Mallari and Jeramer Cabanag had nine and eight, respectively.

Mindoro (1-0) tied Imus (1-0) for the early lead in Group D. On the other hand, Manila (0-1) joined Bulacan at the bottom.

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John Ambulodto and Brent Paraiso led the way for the Stars with 14 points apiece in the contest.

Mindoro will next face Bulacan on Tuesday at 9:30 AM. Meanwhile, Manila will look for its first win against Rizal on Monday also at 9:30 AM.

The Scores:

Mindoro (80) – Castro 17, Koga 17, Baetiong 13, Mallari 9, Cabanag 8, Mariano 8, Matias 3, Villapando 3, Cosejo 2, Liwag 0, Saldana 0, Caldozo 0

Manila (77) – Ambulodto 14, Paraiso 14, Cruz 11, Sara 9, Villanueva 9, Dyke 8, Bataller 5, Mangahas 4, Importante 3, Lopez 0, Asuncion 0, Baltazar 0

Quarterscores: 22-17, 45-38, 65-55, 80-77

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