Gab Banal played true to form and Mark Montuano sealed the Bacoor City Strikers’ victory with split charities in the last 16 seconds as they outlasted the Valenzuela Classic, 78-74, in the MPBL Lakan Season Tuesday at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna.
Banal, the reigning MVP, finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists and delivered an important lay-up with 51 seconds left to push Bacoor’s lead to 77-71.
After Val Acuña hit a trey to put the Classic back in the thick of the fight, Montuano came back by splitting his charities for the final tally.
Bacoor improved its win-loss record to 18-5 and firmed up their hold of the solo second spot in the competitive southern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.
Caloocan nipped Navotas, 97-96, as Paul Sanga showed nerves of steel down the stretch.
Fouled by Jong Bondoc in the last 17 seconds while attempting for a trey, Paul Sanga had to earn the points from the foul line.
The ex-pro was able to stay composed and hit all three shots to give the Supremos the lead and the final tally.
The Supremos did force the Clutch to a 24-second violation, but Caloocan turned the ball over off an inbound play. Luckily, Osama Abdurasad, who stole the ball, couldn’t complete his heroic act as he missed the potential game-winning basket as time expired.
In the main game, host team Biñan City escaped Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines, 74-72.
Allan Mangahas drilled in a jumper in the last two seconds, towing the Heroes to a tense victory against a team regarded as a powerhouse squad.
It was the third straight victory for the Heroes, who improved their win-loss record to 9-14.