Cebu stays in playoff contention after upsetting Bataan

Harold Cortes went 6-for-7 from the field for the Sharks. MPBL
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Cebu's bid to sneak into the MPBL Playoffs got a major boost with a 75-65 shocker over Bataan at the STRIKE Gym in Bacoor on Monday night.

The Sharks relied on their defense to upend the Risers in an upset that caused some shakeups in the race for playoff seeding.

Cebu held Bataan to just nine points in the first quarter, setting up the Visayan side's defensive dominance.

"Maganda ang depensa namin. Nagawa nila yung gusto ko, lalo na yung press," said Coach Noy Falcasantos about the Sharks' defense.

The Risers tried to start the second quarter strong, but the Sharks responded with a 14-3 run to to open a 13-point gap, 29-16.

Cebu remained in control of the game until the third quarter, where it reopened a 15-point cushion, 56-41, at the end of the said period.

Bataan sparked another comeback attempt at the start of the fourth quarter, going on a 7-0 run to cut the lead down to eight, 56-48, with 8:43 to play, but Cebu answered with the game deciding 12-2 run to pull away for good.

Harold Cortes made 16 points on 6-for-7 shooting, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals for the Sharks, who moved up to 14-14, a full game behind the Bicol Volcanoes for eighth place in the Southern Division. Will McAloney added 13 points, six rebounds, four assists, one block, and two steals.

Gino Jumao-As made 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Risers, who fell to a tie with the Bulacan Kuyas for fifth place in the Northern Division at 19-10.

The Scores:

Cebu-Casino Ethyl Alcohol 75 - Cortes 16, McAloney 13, Nuñez 11, Galvez 12, Mantilla 9, Lao 5, Ubalde 5, Coronel 4, Saycon 2, Viloria 0, Lee Yu 0.

1Bataan-Camaya Coast 65 - Jumao-as 12, Villarias 11, Gozum 8, Batino 8, Jaime 6, Gallardo 6, Bregondo 4, Ortega 4, Iñigo 2, Castro 2, Juntilla 2, Llanto 0.

Quarterscores: 13-9, 35-28, 56-41, 75-65.

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