BACOOR is peaking at the right time and on Wednesday night, the Strikers were able to put one over their crosstown rival Imus Bandera, 90-79, in the MPBL Datu Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Rocky Acidre and comebacking Gab Banal combined forces down the stretch as the Strikers picked up their third straight victory and improved their win-loss record to 11-9.
Following their latest win, Bacoor strengthened its hold of the No. 5 spot in the southern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.
Acidre and Banal each tallied 16 markers. They conspired in the endgame that led to the Strikers’ 13-4 run that set the tone for a big endgame finish for coach Leo Isaac and his troops.
Defensively, the Strikers also got the job done as they held their rivals without a field goal in the final 2:52 of the match.
Imus absorbed its 12th loss in 21 games, putting the squad into a tie for seventh to eighth spots with the Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines in this tournament also supported by LGR, the official outfitter of the MPBL.
It was a big win for Bacoor, which outscored its rival, 44-26, inside the shaded lane. The Strikers’ bench players were also more aggressive and they outscored their counterparts, 34-19.
In the main game, Marikina salvaged a 71-69 squeaker over host team Pasay.
Leading the way for the Shoemasters was Erwin Sta. Maria, an ex-pro, who went a rebound shy of posting a double-double performance.
The 6-foot-4 Sta. Maria finished with 21 points and nine boards as he set the tone for the Shoemasters, who improved their win-loss record to 8-14 to move up into a tie for 10th to 11th spots with the Paranaque Patriots-F2 Logistics in the southern division of this tournament.
The Shoemasters are still very much in contention.