RJ Ramirez’s perfect shooting powered the Bacoor Strikers over the Cebu City Sharks, 88-71, on Thursday in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season at Strike Gymnasum in Cavite.
The 6-foot Ramirez scored 17 in the fourth quarter, matching the total output of the Sharks, en route to a game-high 28 that handed the Strikers their seventh straight win and a 15-2 record in the south division of the 31-team field.
It was a flawless shooting display by Ramirez as he drilled in all of his 11 field goal attempts, including two triples, plus four for four charities. He teamed up with MPBL Datu Cup MVP Gab Banal to bail the Strikers out of a 22-31 hole.
Banal had 21 points as they pooled 49, besting the combined 42 of Bill McAloney Jr. and Rhaffy Octobre with 23 and 19, respectively. The Sharks fell to 6-10.
Zamboanga downed Pampanga, 73-59, Nueva Ecija routed Soccsksargen, 89-50.
The Giant Lanterns were within striking distance, 52-59, until Reggie Morido, Hans Thiele and Aaron Black conspired in the telling run that propelled the Zamboanguenos to a 69-52 spread with less than five minutes left.
Zamboanga, with new acquisitions Anton Asistio (17 points), Black (11) and Alvin Pasaol (10) at the helm, notched its third straight win and jumped to 11-8 in the south division.
Pampanga skidded to 10-7 in the north division despite Felix Apreku’s 12-point, 16-rebound effort as no other Giant Lantern scored in twin digits.
With five players tallying double figures, the Rice Vanguards won two in a row under new mentor Charles Tiu and revived their playoffs hopes at 4-12, while quashing the Marlins’ aspirations at 0-16.
Tonino Gonzaga and Jai Reyes led Nueva Ecija with 14 and 13 points, respectively, followed by Jimbo Aquino, Marlon Monte and Levi Dela Cruz with 10 each.