Undermanned Strikers pip Supremos
The Bacoor Strikers, the hottest team in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, had every reason not to be at their best on Friday night when they visited the Caloocan Supremos for their MPBL Lakan Season clash.
Already without head coach Chris Gavina, who had to prioritize his duties with PBA team Rain or Shine, the Strikers also did not have reigning Most Valuable Player Gab Banal and sniper Oping Sumalinog.
“It was tough, but rewarding,” said Bacoor assistant coach Aldrin Morante after the shorthanded Strikers nipped the Supremos, 95-94, in overtime for their fifth straight victory at Caloocan Sports Complex. “Everyone had to step up, especially RJ (Ramirez).”
Ramirez, who had a forgettable stint with the FEU Tamaraws, scored the game-winning basket—a layup with 3.2 seconds remaining in the extra session—as the Strikers solidified their hold of top spot in the South division with a 5-1 record.
Banal missed the game due to his commitment with Mighty Sports in the Jones Cup in Taiwan, while Sumalinog attended to personal matters. New acquisitions Michael Canete and Michael Mabulac combined for 35 points while Mark Montuano finished with 16 points. Ramirez tallied 12 points.