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Ular scores game-winner as Marikina rallies to beat Bacoor City

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Ato Ular scored the winning basket as Marikina sizzled in the fourth quarter to trump Bacoor City, 87-85, in the MPBL Datu Cup at the Imus City Sports Complex on Friday night.

Ular scored the go-ahead basket with four seconds left off a Francis Munsayac feed as the Shoemasters joined a virtual tie for eighth to 11th spots in the Southern Division.

Bacoor City was actually poised to take the virtual home win considering the game being held in the adjacent city of Imus, leading 80-73 with only 4:09 left in the game.

However, Marikina went on a 12-3 run capped by a basket by Erwin Sta. Maria off a Jondan Salvador pass to take an 85-83 lead with 58 seconds left.

The team then forced an eight-second violation on Bacoor City, but Marikina failed to put away the game immediately as Munsayac's triple in the next play rimmed out and Gab Banal scored in the ensuing Bacoor City possession to tie the game up, 85-all, with 17 seconds remaining.

Munsayac then found Ular open from mid-range for the winning basket as Banal's last-gasp from beyond the arc missed the target.

Ular finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds, and two blocks for the Shoemasters, who now tied the Zamboanga Valientes at 10th place at 7-10.

They are virtually tied with joint eighth placers Laguna and Cebu City, who are at 8-11, although Laguna and Cebu City are above on a better winning percentage. Cebu City currently holds the eighth spot due to the winner-over-the-other rule.

Salvador (11 points and 11 rebounds) and Jay-R Ng Sang (15 points and 11 rebounds) also put up double-doubles while Ryan Costelo (17 points and eight assists) came close to one of his own.

Banal missed out on a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists with one block for Bacoor City, which fell to 8-9, tying GenSan and ParaƱaque, which is playing Imus as of posting, for fifth place.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno