Bulacan snaps alarming skid, survives host Pampanga in nail-biter

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ANGELES CITY — The Bulacan Kuyas-Mighty Sports survived the Pampanga Lanterns in a dogfight to pull off a 67-65 win Monday night at the Angeles University Foundation Arena in Pampanga.

JR Taganas and Jorey Napoles delivered crucial baskets that helped the Kuyas in outlasting the hard fighting Lanterns.

Taganas’ putback off a mad scramble put the Kuyas on top, 65-61, with less than a minute left.

In the succeeding play, Levi Hernandez scored on a short stab to put the Lanterns back within striking distance.

The Kuyas ran their usual drive and dish offense and that allowed Napoles to beat Jimbo Aquino off the dribble and grab a 67-63 lead, with 37 seconds left.

Pampanga got a new lease in life in its next offensive trip as Aquino got fouled while attempting from beyond the arc. Unfortunately, the former Ginebra player missed all charities, but made up for that with an offensive rebound.

A basket by Hernandez shoved the Lanterns within 67-65 with still 15 seconds left.

Off an inbounds play, Juneric Baloria was able to put pressure on James Martinez, who lost the ball in the sidelines to allow the Lanterns one last crack to either win it with a trey or tie it with a two-point basket.

Pampanga elected to go for the win as Michael Juico drove hard to the basket and attracted the defense, finding Pari Llagas for an open trey.

Llagas, however, missed the three-point shot completely, allowing Bulacan to escape with the win.
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