GenSan (GENERAL SANTOS CITY) – General Santos City repulsed Bacolod Bingo Plus’ final assault to prevail, 76-73, in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season Presented by Xtreme at the Lagao Gym here Monday.
Ahead by 10 points, 72-62, the GenSan Warriors saw the Bacolodnons, led by veteran Mark Yee, cluster seven points to threaten at 72-69 with 1:12 to go.
A free throw by Nico Elorde and two more charities by Christian Fajarito raised GenSan’s lead, but Aaron Jeruta drove in and canned two freebies to push Bacolod to within 73-75.
An off-form Mark Cruz of GenSan split his two charities for the final count as Yee missed a probable game-tying triple with 10 seconds to go.
GenSan, being supported by OKbet, posted its sixth straight win and climbed to 10-5 in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 22-team tournament.
Bacolod dropped to 9-7 despite Yee’s 20-point and 10-rebound effort, Joel Lee Yu’s 13 points, and Jhan McHale Nermal’s 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Nikko Panganiban paced General Santons City with 16 points and five rebounds, followed by Dhon Reverente with 15 points and eight rebounds, homegrown Cristopher Masaglang with 13 points and five rebounds, and Marlon Gomez with 13 rebounds, nine points and five assists.
Actor Gerald Anderson, the pride of General Santons City, played for seven minutes and 10 seconds and contributed a triple.
Bacoor blitzed Quezon City MG Cars in the fourth quarter to escape with a 60-58 win in the opener of the MPBL’s four-game Mindanao swing.
The Bacoor Strikers improved to 6-9 while pulling down the QC Capitals to 7-7.
Tuesday’s games pit Bacolod against Quezon City at 7 p.m., followed by the Bacoor-GenSan tussle at 9 p.m.
A celebrity game featuring MPBL CEO and founder Manny Pacquiao, movie stars and former pros will precede the games at 5 p.m.
The MPBL moves over to nearby Sarangani on Thursday.
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