Batangas and Bacoor have a score to settle when they begin their quarterfinal series on Friday in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season Presented by Xtreme at the Batangas City Coliseum.
Although the Batangas City Embassy Chill Athletics bested the Bacoor Strikers, 87-86, in overtime in the elimination round, the Athletics’ superiority was put in doubt as it was found out during the game review that the Strikers could have won outright as a foul was committed on Bacoor’s RJ Ramirez who was able to launch a triple at the buzzer.
The referees missed the call and regulation play ended up tied at 78 at the Orion Sports Complex in Bataan.
Levi Hernandez presided over Batangas’ narrow escape with 27 points, including 7 triples, and will be a marked man for Bacoor. Other Athletics on the Strikers’ radar are Cedric Ablaza, Juneric Baloria and Jeckster Apinan.
Backed at their homecourt, the Athletics are favored to repeat over the Strikers, who will lean on Mark Montuano, Mark Pangilinan, Jan Jamon and Ramirez in their bid to exact revenge in the game set at 9 p.m.
Sarangani and Rizal also begin their best-of-three quarterfinal series at 6:30 p.m.
The Sarangani Marlins trounced the Rizal Xentromall Golden Coolers, 94-83, but are expected to encounter tougher opposition this time.
YouTube sensation Kyt Jimenez, the first man to post a quadruple-double (33 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists, 11 steals) in the country’s top regional league, will again lead the Marlins.
Support will come from Paul Sanga, Yvan Ludovice, Gabby Espinas and Mark Acosta.
The Golden Coolers are no pushovers, however, with Jolo Mendoza, Troy Mallillin, Keanu Caballero, Laurenz Victoria and Alvin Capobres around.