Batangas-Tanduay gave home team Valenzuela-Carga Backload Solutions a disappointing end to its 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season campaign, 77-66, late Saturday night at the Bahayang Pag-Asa Gym.
The Athletics improved their win-loss card to 18-11, tying Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines for the fourth spot, which will hold a homecourt advantage in the quarterfinals.
Leading by just six entering the payoff period, 57-51, Batangas uncorked a 12-3 start — punctuated by Jhaymo Eguilos’ hook shot — to take the lead for good, 69-54.
With Valenzuela leading by a point late in the second frame, Batangas sparked a 21-6 blast bridging to the third period. Dan Sara’s pull-up triple then capped the run to put his squad ahead by 14, 50-36.
“We were without key players but still got a win. It is a culture that we are creating — next man up,” said Batangas head coach Woody Co, as Rey Suerte and Jaydee Tungcab had to attend to Gilas duties.
Jeff Viernes, on the other hand, was in Malaysia since his club team had a game.
Eguilos dropped 18 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks. Meanwhile, Ryusei Koga flashed his all-around game with 13 markers, seven rebounds, seven dimes, three steals, and a block.
Returning Teytey Teodoro — a pivotal player during Batangas-Tanduay’s championship run in the inaugural season of the league — had 10 points and three rebounds.
Ford Ruaya had 14 points and eight boards.
Valenzuela ended their campaign at 11-19.
Batangas-Tanduay 77 – Eguilos 18, Koga 13, Teodoro 10, Santos 10, Bragais 8, Sara 8, Melano 6, Rogado 2, Lopez 2.
Valenzuela-Carga Backload Solutions 66 – Ruaya 14, Gimpayan 13, Hubalde 10, Asuncion 8, Kalaw 5, Pagcaliwangan 5, Acuna 3, Varilla 2, Mabigat 2.
Quarterscores: 16-14, 42-33, 57-51, 77-66.
Story by Justin Valencia
Photo by Thel Suliva
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