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Bacoor City repulses Basilan to tie MPBL playoff series

Michael Mabulac and the Bacoor City Strikers got one back against the Basilan Steel. MPBL
By Ivan Saldajeno

BACOOR—The Bacoor City Strikers held off a gritty Basilan Steel squad and walked away with an 80-69 win in Game 2 of the MPBL South Division Semifinals at the Bacoor City STRIKE Gymnasium here on Thursday night.

Bacoor City, with its season on the line, was on track of blowing out Basilan at the get-go, holding the visiting club to just six points in the first quarter while taking a lead as high as 27 points, 37-10, in the second.

The Steel momentarily had a rally in the third quarter, cutting the lead down to 15, 51-36, but the Strikers regained momentum and upped the lead back to 22, 66-44, at the end of the period.

Basilan had one last run, opening the fourth canto with a 25-10 rally to draw to within seven, 69-76, with 1:21 left, but Bacoor City held the team scoreless the rest of the way.

Ian Melencio led the Strikers, who sent their best-of-three series against the Steel to sudden death, with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting, three rebounds, one assist, and four steals.

Mark Montuano added 15 points on 6-of-10 field goals, seven rebounds, and one assist, while Michael Mabulac chipped in 14 markers, 19 boards, three dimes, and one steal.

Allyn Bulanadi put up 16 points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal for the Steel, but he went 0-for-7 from beyond the arc.

Game 3 is set on Saturday night back at the said venue with the winner facing the Davao Occidental Tigers in the South Division Finals next week.

The Scores:

Bacoor City 80 -- Melencio 17, Montuano 15, Mabulac 14, Pangilinan 10, Ramirez 8, Destacamento 6, Cañete 5, Sumalinog 3, Demusis 2, Acuña 0, Andaya 0.

Basilan-Jumbo Plastic 69 -- Bulanadi 16, Uyloan 15, Dumapig 11, Palencia 7, Manalang 5, Collado 4, Bautista 4, Bringas 4, Gabo 2, Daa 1, Sorela 0, Dagangon 0, Hallare 0.

Quarterscores: 20-6, 43-21, 66-44, 80-69.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno