MANILA, Philippines — Rizal Xentromall slammed the door on Sarangani, 84-79, in overtime while Bacoor dragged Batangas into a deciding Game 3 following a 78-75 squeaker last Friday in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season presented by Xtreme at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Saturday’s games pitting General Santos against Bacolod and Pampanga against Bataan at the Bren Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga, however, were cancelled because of Tropical Storm Paeng.
The new date of the deciding quarterfinal games will be announced later.
Its morale boosted by a 73-45 dumping of Sarangani in Game 1, the Rizal Golden Coolers rallied from a 14-point deficit to force overtime, 73-all, then banked on a three-point play by Jolo Mendoza with 13.13 seconds in the extension period left to wrap up their best-of-three series.
Mendoza compiled 26 points, four rebounds and two steals to earn Best Player of the Game honors. He got support from Edgar Charcos, who drilled in the game-tying triple, with 15 points and Keanu Caballero with 11 points, five assists and four rebounds.
Sarangani got 24 points, nine rebounds and four assists from YouTube sensation and “Mr. Quadruple-Double” Kyt Jimenez.
Gabby Espinas contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds and Paul Sanga 13 points and four rebounds for the third-seeded Marlins, who led most part of the game.
Earlier, the Bacoor Strikers leaned on Mark Pangilinan to stun the Batangas City Athletics and level their own series at 1-1.
Pangilinan fired 12 points, including three triples, in the fourth quarter as Bacoor regained control at 77-68 with only a minute and 44 seconds left.
RJ Ramirez led Bacoor with 19 points, followed by Pangilinan with 17 and Mark Montuano with 11.
The loss negated the entry of Batangas’ Levi Hernandez to the MPBL 1,000 points club. Hernandez, who became the 11th member following a triple at the 6:15 mark of the third quarter, wound up with 22 points and was gifted the ball he used in scoring the milestone shot by MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes.
Batangas will get the chance to exact revenge on Bacoor when the MPBL resumes on November 4 at the Batangas City Coliseum.
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