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Bacoor, Basilan near MPBL semis

Bacoor City—Bacoor and Basilan trounced their respective opponents on Wednesday to move closer toward the Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Season semifinals.

Jason Melano (13) of Batangas protects the basketball against Zamboanga defender Leonard Santillan (27) during the two teams’ game. 
The Bacoor Strikers struck from the get-go to batter the General Santos Warriors, 95-72, at the Strike Gymnasium here.

The Basilan Steel posted a similar coast-to-coast 83-68 victory over the Iloilo United Royals in another South division quarterfinal tussle.

Pumped up by the packed hometown crowd, the second seed Strikers, led by MPBL Datu Cup MVP Gab Banal, stormed to a 20-4 start and were never headed to move within a win of sealing the best-of-three affair.

Relentless till the end, the Strikers capped their domination of the Warriors with a one-handed Tomahawk dunk by Nick Demusis for the the final tally.

Banal, Michael Mabulac and Oping Sumalinog sparkled for the Strikers of Coach Chris Gavina.

Pouring eight points in their initial breakaway, Banal wound up with 20 points, 11 assists, three rebounds, and two steals while Mabulac posted 15 points plus 12 rebounds. Sumalinog contributed 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Ian Melencio and RJ Ramirez chipped in 10 points each.

GenSan got 17 points and eight boards from Robby Celiz, 16 points and nine boards from Pamboy Raymundo and 15 points, eight assists and five rebounds from Mikey Williams.

Third seed Basilan, hardly missing the services of Gilas pool member Allyn Bulanadi, greeted the Royals with a 12-point salvo and led by as many as 20 points, 75-55, to likewise close in on the semifinals.

Jhapz Bautista stepped up for the Jumbo Plastics-supported Steel of Coach Jerson Cabiltes with 21 points, including three triples, while Hesed Gabo and Dennis Daa contributed 10 points each.

The Steel will try to seal the series on February 24, at their homecourt, the Basilan City Gymnasium.

Among the spectators were MPBL CEO Senator Manny Pacquiao and the Strikers’ Cong. Strike Revilla and wife Chaye Cabal-Revilla, who got angry due to the rough plays of some Warriors when the outcome was virtually settled.

Topics: Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Season semifinals. Bacoor , Basilan , Gab Banal , Michael Mabulac , Jason Melano
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