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Bacoor City holds off SOCCSKSARGEN as Banal, Sumalinog return

Ian Melencio once again played spitfire off the bench for the Strikers. MPBL
By Ivan Saldajeno

CARMONA—Bacoor City walked away victorious from a gallant stand in the fourth quarter by SOCCSKSARGEN with a 65-60 win in the MPBL Lakan Season at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium in Malolos on Wednesday night.

With reigning MVP Gab Banal and even Oping Sumalinog back in action, the Strikers cruised to sixth straight win following a season-opening loss, but they still had to upend the gritty Marlins down the stretch.

Bacoor City threatened to pull away from SOCCSKSARGEN after a 21-12 third quarter that gave the former a 47-36 lead entering the fourth.

However, the Marlins opened the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run to cut the lead down to one, 47-46, and were within striking distance for most of the quarter.

Ian Melencio then stepped up down the stretch, going on a 7-0 run by his lonesome for the Strikers to reopen a 10-point cushion, 65-55, with 1:14 left, and they never looked back from there.

Melencio finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and one steal off the bench for Bacoor City.

Banal and Sumalinog each tallied 12 markers.

Norman Gonzales put up 11 points, three rebounds, three blocks, and one steal for SOCCSKSARGEN, which remained winless after four matches.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno