By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--With the Binan City-Cebu game going overtime and the Bicol-Marikina match marred with a bunch of fouls and free throws, the main game of the MPBL triple-header between Bacoor City and Pasig was expected to finish late night.
As it turned out, the outcome was formalized just past midnight.
The Strikers turned back the Realtors on the road, 73-64, at the Pasig Sports Center just as Thursday began.
Bacoor City was actually on track of a blowout after opening a 60-48 lead with 8:27 left in the game.
However, Pasig went on a 10-0 run to the delight of the sellout crowd that cut the lead down to two, 60-58, with 6:15 remaining.
Despite the Strikers momentarily retaking control of the match, the Realtors remained at striking distance, trailing by just three, 62-65, with 2:34 remaining.
Bacoor City finally broke loose after Gab Banal fired back-to-back triples and RJ Ramirez added the layup for the game-deciding 8-0 run that opened an 11-point cushion, 73-62, before Jeric Teng made two free throws for the final tally.
Banal finished with 17 points, six rebounds, and four assists for the Strikers.
Ian Melencio added 12 points, five rebounds, one assist, and one steal off the bench.
Robbie Manalang finished with 16 points, three rebounds, and two assists, while Teng had 10 markers, 15 boards, five dimes, and two steals for Pasig.
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