UNBEATEN Bacoor Strike sa Serbisyo advanced to the Metro League Reinforced Conference Finals with a 96-83 over Taguig in the South Division championship on Tuesday night at Strike Gym in Bacoor City, Cavite.
The Strikers raced to a quick 46-32 halftime lead behind Kenmark Miranda and former FEU Tamaraws RJ Ramirez and Prince Orizu.
Bacoor widened the gap 24 points on its way to its 11th win in as many games since the elimination round of the South Division of the M-League.
Bacoor advances to a best-of-three showdown with the North Division winner.
Quezon City and Caloocan battle for the spot in the finals on Saturday.
Miranda finished with an efficient 19 points in just 18 minutes of play, Ramirez added 14 while Nigerian reinforcement Orizu posted a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double for Bacoor which eliminated Pasigueño 86-68 in a one-game semis faceoff last week.
Mark Pangilinan and Paolo Castro also contributed 12 and 11 markers, respectively, for the Strikers who completed a rare double championship win at home, its boys team earlier beating Las Piñas 68-41 to cop the 17-and-under South Division title, to the delight of the home crowd that included Congressman Strike Revilla.
Former Naga College Foundation slotman Emmanuel Ojuola tallied 23 points and 15 rebounds for the Generals, who badly missed the services of ex-pro and top player Jonathan Uyloan.
Uyloan, who was averaging 11.6 points, 6.2 assists, 4.1, rebounds and 3.1 steals in the tournament, suffered a foot injury in practice the previous day.
In a North Division semifinal rubber-match, No. 2 seed Caloocan-Gerry’s Grill eliminated all-Filipino champion Valenzuela-San Marino with a 77-67 victory, ending the Tuna Lovers’ bid for back-to-back titles.
Up by just a lone point, 58-57, midway through the final canto of a tighty-contested battle, the Supremos closed out the Workhorses with a 19-10 blast to secure the gritty win that pushed them to the North Division Finals of the M-League
Reynaldo De Mesa led Caloocan with 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Johnnel Rey Bauzon scored 17, Robbie Marion Darang added 15, while import Abdoulaye Niang posted 14 points and 15 boards for the Supremos, setting up a North Division title match with QC.
Reneford Ruaya scored 18 and Nikki Monteclaro added 15 for the Workhorses.
The Capitals booked their ticket to the North Division title match with a 117-100 win over Manila-INGCO in the tournament backed by the Metro Manila Development Authority, Philippine Basketball Association with Barangay 143 as league presentor, sponsored by Synergy 88, World Balance, Excellent Noodles and San Miguel Corporation and supported by Gerry’s Grill, Summit Water, Alcoplus, Nature’s Spring, Goodfellow, SMS Global Technologies Inc., Spalding, Team Rebel Sports and PLDT.
North Division Semifinals
Caloocan 77 — De Mesa 22, Bauzon 17, Darang 15, Niang 13, Brutas 5, Flores 5, Tay 0, De Leon 0, Ortiz 0
Valenzuela 67 — Ruaya 18, Monteclaro 15, Diego 8, Esplana 7, Tayongtong 6, Laminou 6, Pascua 4, Natividad 3, Rivera 0, Kalaw 0, Sta. Maria 0
Quarterscores: 23-18, 34-33, 56-52, 77-67
South Division Finals
Bacoor Strike sa Serbisyo 96 -- Miranda 19, Ramirez 14, Orizu 13, Pangilinan 12, Castro 11, Montuano 8, Acuna 5, Descamento 5, Malabag 5, Aquino 0, Doligon 0, Bugarin 0
Taguig 83 -- Ojuola 23, Sampurna 14, Mayo 12, Francisco 10, Rublico 7, Gozum 6, Monte 4, Alcantara 3, Subrabas 2, Guiyab 1, Lontoc 1, Gilbero 0, Oliveria 0
Quarterscores: 25-16, 46-32, 75-54