The Bacoor Strikers used a strong third quarter to beat the Cebu City Sharks, 76-71, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup at Muntinlupa Sports Complex Thursday.
With Chris Sumalinog and Mark Montuano on the firing end, the Strikers zoomed ahead, 54-38, early in the third quarter which they used as buffer to the Sharks’ repeated attempts to rally.
The intensity of the game caused tempers to flare with Sumalinog and Cebu’s Raffy Octubre engaging in a mad scramble for the ball and nearly coming to blows with the count at 72-70, only 1:15 to go.
Game officials and coaching staff prevented the situation from getting out of hand, with the two players eventually being slapped a technical foul each for adapting a fighting stance.
In the ensuing play, the 6-foot-2 Sumalinog scored on a getaway layup to sink the Casino Ethyl Alcohol-supported Sharks, 74-70, with only 48 seconds left.
Sumalinog wound up with a game-high 22 points for the Strikers, who overcame a minus-16 deficit off the boards (60-44).
The Strikers compensated with more assists, 19-14, steals, 9-6, blocks 7-3, fastbreak points, 9-0, and lesser turnovers, 16-22.
According to Sumalinog, a Cebuano, he had to stand up for his teammates, whom he felt were getting hurt by the physical Sharks.
Montuano, a 6-foot-2 forward out of Informatics, contributed 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Strikers.
The Sharks, being mentored by Gilbert Castillo, were led by Cesar Catli with 15 points.
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