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Rey Suerte comes through in clutch as Batangas nips Navotas

by Niel Victor Masoy, January 24, 2020 12:12am

Rey Suerte picked a perfect time to deliver as he powered Batangas to a 72-68 win over Navotas on Thursday night in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Struggling on the offensive end for the most part of the contest, the 6-foot-2 Suerte came through in the clutch, scoring eight of his 13 points late as the Athletics improved to a 16-11 slate, good for the fifth spot in the South Division team standings, tied with Zamboanga and Iloilo.

First, Suerte drained a triple to give Batangas a 67-66 lead at the 2:07 mark of the fourth period.

After which, Suerte drained a pair of free throws, extending the Athletics buffer to three points with 1:39 left in regulation.

Osama Abdurasad pulled the Clutch within a point, 69-68, by scoring on a layup at the 39.4-second mark.

However, Suerte came through with another three-point bomb from the left corner just before Batangas' shot clock expired to give his team a four-point spread.

An Abdurasad missed trey on the ensuing play and a turnover by Joesel Prudente then sealed the win for the Athletics.

Suerte - a Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Draftee and a Gilas Pilipinas pool member for the FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers - also produced five assists and four rebounds to atone for his 4-of-13 shooting clip.

Jason Melano backstopped Suerte with 12 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, and three steals, including his interception of Pruduente's pass with 1.6 ticks remaining in the game.

Ryusei Koga produced 12 points, two rebounds, and three assists, including the set up pass to Suerte that turned into dagger trey that practically put Navotas away.

Ex-Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player Jeff Viernes chipped in 11 markers, three dimes, three steals, and two boards.

Elmer Cabahug tallied 13 points, two caroms, two assists, and two steals to pace the Clutch.

Mark Guillen also amassed 13 points plus three caroms as Marvin Taywan scattered 11 points, two assists, two rebounds, and two steals.

Jhong Bondoc scored five points only, but pulled down 11 rebounds in the loss that dropped Navotas to a 7-21 slate.

 

The scores:

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

Navotas 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

Quarters: 17-10, 34-31, 51-58, 72-68.

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