El Tigre maul Strikers; Warriors repel Sharks in MPBL
BACOOR – Mandaluyong El Tigre attacked without letup and forced the Bacoor Strikers to surrender, 81-63, Thursday night in the Maharlika Pilipinas Baskteball League Datu Cup at the people-packed Strike Gymnasium here Thursday.
El Tigre, with Joel Cunanan taking over the scoring chores from Ray Parks Jr., built a 17-point bulge, 70-53, with 3:12 left as the hometown crowd started heading to the exits.
The Strikers ‘will to fight back ebbed and El Tigre pounced on it to pull away en route to their fifth straight win after dropping their inaugural game on June 12.
With Parks pumping in 16 points, including a one-handed dunk, El Tigre pulled ahead, 36-27, at halftime and padded it to 57-42 as the third quarter ended.
Parks sizzled with 28 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals, while Cunanan poured all his 11 points in the fourth quarter to frustrate the Strikers, who got 21 points and 13 rebounds from Mark Montuano.
Actor Xian Lim was fielded in with 2:30 left in the third quarter and El Tigre ahead, 53-39. He played a total of 6 minutes and 30 seconds and notched one rebound, one turnover and three fouls.
Montuano also grabbed 13 rebounds, while Gab Banal made 10 points and 6 rebounds for the Strikers, who dropped to 4-3.
Earlier, the General Santos Warriors repulsed the Cebu City Sharks’ final assault to prevail, 70-66, in a battle of lowly teams.
Climbing from 13 points down, 60-47, early in the fourth quarter, the Warriors threatened twice, 66-64, on a triple by Patric Cabahug, and 68-64, on a jumper by Rhaffy Octobre.
The Warriors won’t be denied of their second victory in six games, however, as Leomer Losentes pegged the final count on two free throws with five seconds to go.
Cabahug wound up with a game-high 21 points, but his effort fell short of preventing the Sharks from sinking deeper at 1-6.
The 5-foot-11 Losentes and 6-foot-4 Delmar Mahaling led the Warriors with 15 points each, followed by John Orbeta with 13.
The MPBL moves to Alonte Sports Arena on Saturday with a doubleheader pitting the Pampanga Lanterns against the Davao Occidental Tigers at 7 p.m. and the Laguna Heroes against the Paranaque Patriots at 9 p.m.