Davao Occidental in Southern finals; Bacoor stays alive vs Basilan
(The Philippine Star) - March 7, 2020 - 12:00am

DAVAO, Philippines — Davao Occidental cruised to the finals while Bacoor struck back in the Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Season last Thursday at the Strike Gymnasium in Bacoor City.

Asserting their mastery over Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines, the Tigers prevailed anew, 62-58, to sweep their South division semifinals, 2-0.

Propped up by hometown fans, the Bacoor Strikers started hot and never wavered to batter the Basilan Steel, 80-69, level their own semifinal series at 1-1, and force a decider today at the same venue.

Though they missed MPBL Datu Cup MVP Gab Banal due to a sprained medial collateral ligament, the Strikers surged ahead at 37-10 before fending off the Basilenos’ final assault that brought them to within, 69-76, in the homestretch.

Without Banal, who sustained the injury following a collision with Basilan star Allyn Bulanadi in Game 1 won by the Steel (77-63), former pro Michael Mabulac, homegrown talents Ian Melencio and Mark Montuano and Mark Pangilinan delivered for coach Chris Gavina’s squad.

Mabulac scored 14 points and grabbed 19 rebounds as the Strikers ruled the boards, 58-39. Melencio, a star in Cavite leagues before joining the MPBL, tallied 17 points and four assists.Montuano contributed 15 points plus seven boards while Pangilinan chipped in 10 points.

Basilan, mentored by Jerson Cabiltes, got 16 points from Bulanadi, a Gilas pool member; 15 points on five triples from ex-pro Jonathan Uyloan and 11 from Chris Dumapig.

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