Bacoor nails huge road win behind Banal heroics
DAVAO CITY—Bacoor City put General Santos City’s once-promising campaign on the brink with a stunning 90-80 victory on the road, while top seed Davao Occidental shrugged off a sluggish start to move within a win of a second-round spot in the South division playoffs of the MPBL Datu Cup.
League MVP frontrunner Gab Banal and Mark Montuano dished out career-best outputs as the fourth-seeded Strikers avenged their elimination round loss to the Warriors at RMC Gym here and also closed in on a duel with the No. 1 Tigers.
Banal, who finished with 31 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, vowed to finish off the Warriors in Game 2 in their home floor at Lagao Gym on Saturday.
“We just won Game 1 and we know the war is far from over,” said Banal. “But we will take Game 2.”
Montuano had his best game for the Strikers, finishing with 23 points and nine rebounds. The Strikers also drew a superb defensive effort from King Destacamento who finished with five points and five blocks.
Bacoor led by as many as 11 points early, before the Warriors came storming back behind Jorem Morada, whose triple gave the Mindanao team a 64-55 lead in the third period.
Destacamento and Eric Acuna helped Bacoor close out the third period with a 10-2 burst, before Montuano’s big shots, in the end, helped seal the win.
With Mark Yee tallying his 14th double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds, the Tigers turned back the No. 8 Cebu City Sharks, 82-67, in the second game.
Davao was held to just 12 points in the first 14 minutes of action, before Bonbon Custodio came alive late in the second period, allowing the Tigers to take control.
Custodio finished with 18 points, while Leo Najorda and Billy Robles added 11 each for the Tigers.
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