Bacoor City stifles Batangas City in endgame to set MPBL finals duel vs. Pampanga

Bacoor City celebrates after winning the MPBL South Division pennant. Ivan Saldajeno
By Ivan Saldajeno

BATANGAS CITY—A first-time MPBL champion will be crowned starting next week as Bacoor City swept Batangas City in the South Division Finals to set a championship duel with Pampanga.

The Strikers ended the Embassy Chill's season with a solid endgame defense en route to a 54-49 Game 2 win on Friday night at the Batangas City Sports Coliseum.

It was an up-and-down game for both teams as Batangas City turned to its defense early on and held Bacoor City to only eight first-quarter points while taking a six-point lead at the end of the quarter.

However, the Strikers held the Embassy Chill to only seven points the following period and took a 23-21 lead at halftime.

The offense finally picked up in the third quarter, and Batangas City got the better of it by even scoring more than its total first-half output to take a 44-40 lead at the end of the period.

Bacoor City, however, had the last laugh by holding Batangas City to just five points in the fourth quarter to steal the decisive road win.

Jhaymo Eguilos led the Strikers with nine points, seven rebounds, one assist, one block, and one steal, while James Kwekuteye and Jhan Nermal each added eight markers.

Jeckster Apinan paced the Embassy Chill, who were knocked out of the South Finals for the second straight year, with 11 points, nine rebounds, two assists, one steal, and two blocks.

Game 1 between Bacoor City and Pampanga is set for next Friday night at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando City, Pampanga.

Box Scores:

Bacoor City 54-Eguilos 9, Kwekuteye 8, Nermal 8, Jeruta 7, Ludovice 7, Jamito 7, Canete 4, Yee 4, Viloria 0, Lopez 0, Lee Yu 0, Jaime 0

Batangas City 49-Apinan 11, Isit 9, Baloria 7, Hernandez 7, Ablaza 6, Dela Virgen 3, Ochea 2, Lingganay 2, Ambuludto 2, Cruz 0

Quarterscores: 8-14, 23-21, 40-44, 54-49

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