General Santos City weathered a furious fourth-quarter storm from Bacoor to post a 75-74 victory and boost its playoffs drive Tuesday in the OKbet Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League 4th Season at the Lagao Gym.
Trailing most of the way, the Strikers struck back through RJ Ramirez and seized the lead at 64-62 early in the fourth quarter.
With Ramirez pouring 15 of his 19 points and Mark Montuano adding a jumper, Bacoor last led at 74-73 with 36.5 seconds left.
Dhon Reverente, however, pierced Bacoor’s defense for a layup that turned out to be the marginal basket with 24.8 seconds to go.
The Warriors posted their seventh straight win and climbed to an 11-5 record in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 22-team tournament.
Bacoor dropped to 6-10.
Nikko Panganiban led the Warriors with 17 points and five rebounds, followed by Mark Cruz with 14 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
GenSan pride Gerald Anderson contributed eight points, matching the output of Niko Elorde, plus three rebounds and two steals.
Homegrown Ian Melencio supported Ramirez with 14 points, six assists and five rebounds while Mark Montuano chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.
Bacolod Bingo Plus, powered by Mark Yee, subdued Quezon City MG Cars, 79-64, in the first game to improve to 10-7.
Quezon City skidded to 7-8.
MPBL chief executive officer and founder Manny Pacquiao watched the games with wife Jinkee and GenSan Mayor and sister-in-law Lorelei Pacquiao.
The league’s Mindanao swing takes a two-day break and will resume on Friday with a doubleheader at the Sarangani Capitol Gym in Alabel.
The games will pit Muntinlupa against Bacolod at 7 p.m. and Sarangani against Quezon City at 9 p.m.
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