General Santos—General Santos City repulsed Bacolod Bingo Plus’ final assault to prevail, 76-73, on Monday in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season Presented by Xtreme at the Lagao Gym here.
Ahead by 10 points, 72-62, the GenSan Warriors saw the Bacolodnons, led by veteran Mark Yee, clustered seven points to threaten at 72-69 with 1:12 to go.
A free throw by Nico Elorde and 2 more free throws by Christian Fajarito raised GenSan’s lead, but Aaron Jeruta drove in and canned 2 charities to push Bacolod to within 73-75.
An off-form Mark Cruz of GenSan split his 2 charities for the final count as Yee missed a probable game-tying triple with 10 seconds to go.
GenSan, being supported by OKbet, posted its sixth straight win and climbed to 10-5 in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 22-team tournament.
Bacolod dropped to 9-7 despite Yee’s 20-point, 10-rebound effort, Joel Lee Yu’s 13 points and Jhan McHale Nermal’s 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Nikko Panganiban paced GenSan with 16 points and 5 rebounds, followed by Dhon Reverente with 15 points and 8 rebounds, homegrown Cristopher Masaglang with 13 points and 5 rebounds and Marlon Gomez with 9 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists.
Actor Gerald Anderson, the pride of GenSan, played for 7 minutes and 10 seconds and contributed a triple.
Bacoor blitzed Quezon City MG Cars in the fourth quarter to win pulling away, 60-58, in the opener of the MPBL’s four-game Mindanao swing.
The Bacoor Strikers improved to 6-9 while pulling down the QC Capitals to 7-7.
Tuesday’s games pit Bacolod against Quezon City at 7 p.m., followed by the Bacoor-GenSan tussle at 9 p.m.
A celebrity game featuring MPBL CEO and founder Manny Pacquiao, movie stars and former pros will precede the games at 5 p.m.
The MPBL moves over to nearby Sarangani on Thursday.