Tigers extends win run; Shoemasters end skid in MPBL
Roy Luarca (Philstar.com) - December 6, 2018 - 12:44pm

MANILA, Philippines – The Davao Occidental Tigers bared their fangs in the fourth quarter and went on to devour the Pasig Pirates, 88-82, Wednesday night in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup at Marist School Gymnasium in Marikina.

Battling the cellar-dwellers, the Tigers were sluggish in the third quarter, trailing the Pirates by nine points, 60-69, before going to work in the last quarter through their power duo of Leo Najorda and Mark Yee.

Najorda poured 15 of his 17 points in that span while Yee added five en route to game-highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers, who streaked to their 11th straight win for a 13-3 slate, the best in the South division of the 26-team league founded by Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

Joseph Terso, taking up the scoring cudgels for the injured Bonbon Custodio, added 16 points, while Louie Medalla chipped in 12 for the Cocolife-backed Tigers.

Drawing twin digits from five players, the Pirates put up a stiff fight, leading 67-60 at the end of the third quarter and trailing by just one point, 75-74, before yielding their 13th loss in 15 games.

The Pirates got 16 points from Boyet Bautista, 12 each from Martin Gozum and Mark Andaya, 11 from Angel Mendoza and 10 from Francis Camacho.

Ronald Roy canned two free throws with 10.8 seconds to preserve the Marikina Shoemasters' victory over Basilan Steel in the nightcap.

Those charities enabled the Shoemasters to quell the Steel's final rally and halt a seven-game slide for a 5-10 mark.

It was the Steel's sixth defeat in a row, pulling them down behind their conquerors at 4-11.

Pint-sized Ryan Costelo played big for the Shoemasters with a career-high 24 points, while Renato Ular provided ample support with a career-high 19 points on top of 11 rebounds. Roy finished with 13 points and Sazon Yves added 12 for the Shoemasters.

Down by 16 points, 79-63, the Steel, with former Makati Super Crunch Jerald Bautista firing a career-best 26 points on his first game with them, moved to within 80-82 on a triple by Dennis Daa, time down to 19 seconds.

The MPBL returns to Imus City Sports Complex on Thursday with Paranaque tackling Batangas at 7 p.m. and Imus battling Muntinlupa at 9 p.m.

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