Call them comeback Kuyas.
The Kuyas of Bulacan usually rely on their brute force and immense physicality to bully their opponents inside. But on Wednesday night, they leaned on finesse and outside shooting to come from behind and escape with an 88-85 victory against the Davao Occidental Tigers in the 2018 MPBL Anta Datu Cup.
Down by 11 points after two quarters, Bulacan came out strong at the beginning of the second half and pulled within 5. But Davao’s trio of Mark Yee, Ray Robles, and Louie Medalla foiled their run and once again extended the lead, 58-67, coming into the final canto.
Not one to go down without swinging, the stubborn Kuyas once again clawed their way back to the ball game led by the steady play of Jerick Cañada and the timely scoring of super-sub Stephen Siruma.
Clutch three-pointers by Bulacan down the stretch sent the game to overtime, as the battle-tested Kuyas capitalized on their experience to complete the come from behind victory in the extra period.
Cañada received Player of the Game honors with his double-double performance of 16 points and 10 dimes. Siruma top-scored for Bulacan with 17 points to along with 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Yee paced the losing squad with 17 points and 9 boards. With the loss, Davao drops to the middle of the Group B South Division with a 2-3 record, while Bulacan’s third straight victory propels them to (4-1).
– Cañada redeemed himself big time after being held scoreless in their last win over Parañaque. He made 60 percent of his total attempts from the field (6-10 FG) and was a sniper from downtown, hitting 4-out-of-7 three pointers for a 57 percent mark.
– Siruma and Cañada carried most of the scoring load for Bulacan, but it was Hans Thiele who hit crucial baskets in overtime. The former Alab player finished with 13 points and 4 rebounds.
– JR Taganas only scored 6 points for the Kuyas, but he set the tone underneath with his game-high 10 boards. He also dished out 4 dimes.
– The Bulacan bench was instrumental in their comeback win, outscoring Davao’s reserves 50-33.
– Davao’s 24 turnovers also played a hand in allowing Bulacan to take momentum, resulting into 26 easy points. The Kuyas also dominated the fast break, outgunning the Tigers 24-9.
– Two key clogs of Davao’s offense – Leo Najorda and Bonbon Custodio – were unable to suit up in last night’s game. Yee, Robles, and Medalla combined for 43 of the team’s 85 points, but the team faltered in OT and let the win slip out of their hands.
– Bulacan will clash against fellow streaking squad Basilan Steel on August 7 at the Marist School Gymnasium in Marikina. Davao, on the other hand, will tangle with the winless Cebu City Sharks on August 14 at the Strike Gymnasium in Cavite.