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Suerte delivers as Batangas escapes Navotas, creates logjam in MPBL North



Tiebreaker Times Suerte delivers as Batangas escapes Navotas, creates logjam in MPBL North Basketball MPBL News  Woody Co Ryusei Koga Rey Suerte Navotas Clutch-Unipak Mark Guillen Jeff Viernes Jason Melano Elmer Cabahug Batangas City-Tanduay Athletics 2019-20 MPBL Lakan Cup

Rey Suerte showed nerves of steel, towing Batangas City-Tanduay to a tight 72-68 victory over Navotas-Unipak Sardines in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Season at the Ynares Sports Arena, Thursday. 

Down by two points, Suerte fired a three-pointer from the left wing before fishing a foul off Navotas’ Kojack Melegrito. That led to two free throws, which then gave Batangas a three-point advantage, 69-66, with 1:39 left in the game.

Osama Abdurasad’s lay-up with 39.4 seconds left trimmed the Athletics’ lead to one. However, Suerte once again came to Batangas’ defense. He converted a trey in the same spot to push the lead back to four points, 72-68, with 16 seconds remaining.

Abdurasad missed a three-pointer, while Jason Melano stole the ball off a pass from Joesel Prudente to seal the deal for the Athletics.

“We really need it sa standings, and especially for the people of Batangas. At least kahit papaano napa-smile namin sila. Kahit kaunti. [But] we’re still trying to figure out how to win,” said Batangas head coach Woody Co.

Suerte – who scored Batangas’ last eight points – finished the game with 13 points, five assists, and four rebounds. Melano delivered 12 points, 13 rebounds, three steals, and a block, while Ryusei Koga and Jeff Viernes chipped in 12 and 11 points in the victory.

The Athletics, who are now in a three-way logjam in the fifth spot of the South Division with Iloilo and Zamboanga, possessing identical 16-11 cards.

On the other hand, Mark Guillen and Elmer Cabahug led Navotas with 13 points apiece.

The Unipak Sardines-backed squad dropped to a 7-21 standing in the North Division.

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The Scores:

Batangas City-Athletics (72) – Suerte 14, Melano 12, Koga 12, Viernes 11, Olivares 7, Grimaldo 5, Santos 4, Sara 3, Tungcab 3, Bragais 2, Rogado 0

Navotas-Unipak Sardines (68) – Guillen 13, Cabahug 13, Taywan 11, Gonzales 6, Melegrito 5, Bondoc 5, Abdurasad 5, Matillano 4, Andaya 4, Bautista 2, Evangelista 0, Prudente 0

Quarterscores: 17-10, 34-31, 51-58, 72-68

Story by Jonash Dannug
Photo by Thel Suliva