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Gab Banal displays MVP form as Bacoor edges out Bacolod in overtime thriller

by Eugene Flores, August 13, 2019 11:50pm

Gab Banal was in his Most Valuable Player (MVP) mode Tuesday night to lift the Bacoor Strikers past the visiting Bacolod Master's Sardines, 107-100, in an overtime showdown in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup at their jam-packed Strike Gymnasium.

Banal poured 10 overtime points for a total of 29 points on top of seven rebounds and 11 assists to treat their crowd a great game after over a month playing on the road.

Bacoor had the chance to close out the game in regulation but Jopher Custodio banked in a step-back fadeaway triple to tie the game at 88 and sending it into overtime.

He then opened the extra period with another triple that was answered by Mark Montuano's version of three. Arturo Dimas, on the other hand, made an easy layup off Mac Tallo's assist before RJ Ramirez drilled another triple for Bacoor. Tallo got fouled on the next play, making one of his free throws to tie the game at 94.

Banal then started to light up burying a triple. Tallo answered back with a layup but Banal drilled again a triple to make it a two-possession ball game, 100-96 with 1:21 left in the clock.

Paulo Javelona made two free throws followed by Dimas layup tying once again the ball game.

Gab Banal was not to be stopped as he bank-in a floater to reply. Bacolod turned the ball over on the next play before fouling Ramirez who made only a free-throw, 103-100 with 28 seconds left.

Custodio then wasn't able to repeat his miraculous shot that gave the possession back to Bacoor. Javelona then fouled Banal who calmly sank both charities. Bacolod came up dry and Matthew Aquino delivered the icing on the cake with his two throws, 107-100.

Michael Pangilinan was an integral part of Bacoor's win tallying 18 points, all came from six triples before cooling off late. Mike Mabulac who returned from his knee injury added 15 points plus 19 rebounds, including eight offensive boards.

The win was Bacoor's eight across two defeats while Bacolod went 3-7 on a sorry loss.

Javelona once again led the scoring for Bacolod with 27 points, six assists, and four steals while Custodio added 23 points, including seven treys. Mac Tallo also delivered an all-around game with 17 markers, eight board, seven dimes, and five steals.

Both squads fired away 45 three-point attempts each, more than their two-point attempts. They combined for 30 three-pointers made.

Bacolod started strong as Javelona's long triple created an early 19-8 lead but Bacoor responded with seven straight points before A Dionson's free throw finished the first quarter 20-15, in favor of Bacolod.

In the second frame, Mike Mabulac and Michael Canete pounded the paint to give Bacoor a 30-28 lead. Javelona then ended the half with a gorgeous spin move fall away jumper over his former Alab Pilipinas teammate, Chris Sumalinog, for a 39-33 Bacolod lead.

Bacoor rode a 39-point third quarter led by Pangilinan's five triples to build a 72-64 lead but Bacolod rallied in the fourth to force the overtime.

The Strikers will then be hosted by the Batangas City Athletics-Tanduay on August 20 at the Batangas City Coliseum.

Bacolod is going to square off with the Binan City Laguna-Krah Heroes on August 22 at the Bataan People's Center

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