|The Strike completed a dream run in their maiden journey in the Metro League. Metro League|
By Dugout Philippines
MANILA—Bacoor Strike sa Serbisyo emerged as the champion of the Metro League Reinforced (2nd) Conference, pulling off a 67-60 victory over Caloocan-Gerry’s Grill in their winner-take-all Game 3 on Saturday in front of its home crowd at the Strike Gym in Bacoor City, Cavite.
Mark Montuano and Mark Pangilinan sparked the Strikers’ scorching run in the fourth quarter on their way to a breakthrough title in the M-League that is backed by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and with Barangay 143 as league presentor.
It was a near-perfect championship run for Bacoor in this import-flavored conference, sweeping the South Division and only losing in Game 2 of the best-of-three finals.
The Strikers finished the tourney which has Synergy 88, World Balance, Excellent Noodles and San Miguel Corporation as major sponsors, with an impressive 13-1 win-loss record.
The Caviteño team, though, was denied of a double crown as Caloocan-Arceegee earlier downed the undermanned Bacoor City Agimat, 59-50, to rule the 17-&-under division.
Montuano fired a game-high 18 points, including seven markers in the crucial final frame, while Pangilinan sank three triples in the fourth en route to a 11-point production.
Down 43-47 heading to the last canto, Montuano and Pangilinan ignited a 19-5 blast to push Bacoor ahead, 62-52, with 3:34 remaining in the game.
Caloocan came back and closed within 60-64 behind Robbie Darang and Abdoulaye Niang but Eric Acuña sank two ice-cold free throws with 14 seconds left to seal the Strikers’ title-clinching win.
King Destacamento, named Reinforced (2nd) Conference Most Valuable Player, also played huge with double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds while Best Import Prince Orizu also tallied a double-double, finishing with 11 markers and 13 boards for Bacoor.
Darang had a team-best 13 points, Niang had 12 markers to go with 17 rebounds even as Johnnel Rey Bauzon and Reynaldo De Mesa had 11 points apiece in the sorry loss for the Supremos.
Earlier, a different story unfolded as U17 MVP John Sherick Estrada carried Caloocan-Arceegee to a victory over the shorthanded Bacoor City Agimat for the silverware in the 17U-&-under division of M-League that is also supported by Gerry’s Grill, Summit Water, Alcoplus, Nature’s Spring and Goodfellow.
Estrada uncorked 17 points, including a three-point play that handed the Junior Supremos a 56-47 lead with 1:54 remaining in the game and virtually secured the result.
Alexandrei Gazzingan stepped up with 12 points, pouring six of those in the pivotal payoff period, while Dennerie Pancho added 10 markers and Ahmad Abdoh El-Hag contributed a nine-point, eight-board effort.
Mikhael James Gutierrez and Rion Natrist Porcadas had 10 points each even as Gail Aranilla had nine markers and 11 rebounds for Bacoor, which sorely missed the services of scorers Pauloh Villarin and Mark Angelo Torrijos.
The Agimat actually won the series opener 85-81 last June 18 in their homecourt but failed to close it out in Game 2 of Finals that was held in Caloocan in this tourney for boys aged 17 and under of M-League that has SMS Global Technologies, Inc. as official livestream and technology partner, Spalding as official ball, Team Rebel Sports as official outfitter, PLDT as official internet service provider and Manila Bulletin as media partner.
M-League officials headed by Metro Manila Sports Fest Chairman Bonnie Tan, along Finance Director Waiyip Chong, deputy tournament director Fidel Mangonon III, Commissioner Glenn Capacio & technical committee head Lou Gatumbato handed out the champions’ trophies and individual awards after the games. (JBU)
17U Finals Game 3
Caloocan-Arceegee 59 – Estrada 17, Gazzingan 12, Pancho 10, El-Hag 9, Santos 5, Gines 2, Principe 2, Valencia 2, Bustria 0
Bacoor City Agimat 50 – Gutierrez 10, Porcadas 10, Aranilla 9, Melencio 8, Pecho 6, Rocha 4, Torno 3, Bautista 0, Buhay 0, Cornand 0, Corrales 0
Quarterscores: 9-15, 23-31, 42-37, 59-50
Reinforced Finals Game 3
Bacoor Strike sa Serbisyo (67) – Montuano 18, Descamento 13, Orizu 11, Pangilinan 11, Miranda 6, Acuna 4, Malabag 3, Ochea 1, Aquino 0
Caloocan-Gerry’s Grill (60) – Darang 13, Niang 12, Bauzon 11, De Mesa 11, Brutas 7, Enriquez 6, De Leon 0, Tay 0
Quarterscores: 15-19, 29-28, 43-47, 67-60
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