Bulacan nips Bacoor in MPBL thriller, 77-76

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BACOOR – JR Taganas dished out another double-double performance and helped the Bulacan Kuyas in weathering a late rally by home team Bacoor Strikers, 77-76, in the MPBL Datu Cup at the Strike Gymnasium here Thursday night.

Taganas finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds while his long-time partner, James Martinez, added 10 markers as the Mighty Sports-backed Kuyas bounced back from a sound beating they suffered against the San Juan Knights last week.

But the Kuyas had to pick up their second win in three games the hard way.

They squandered a 16-point lead in the closing stage of the third quarter, 60-44, and watched the Strikers mounted a rally in the fourth period. A 14-2 run by Bacoor in the fourth period allowed the host squad to come closer, 68-66, capped by a three-point basket by Ramir Morales halfway the final period.

Down the stretch, the more experienced Bulacan team played with more composure.

Taganas’ short stab put the Kuyas aheaqd, 76-72, with still 1:31 left, but the Strikers missed their next two offensive trips, including an ill-advised three-point attempt from Oping Sumalinog.

Sumalinog, though tried to make up for that by hitting a trey with still two seconds to go and shoved the Strikers to within striking distance, 77-76.

Bulacan, however, came up with a successful inbound play and wasted the remaining seconds to escape with the win.