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MPBL: Bacoor, Manila sustain win runs; Basilan breaks out of slump

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BACOOR and Manila, two of the hottest teams in the MPBL Lakan Season, continued their sizzling performance Wednesday after hurdling their respective rivals at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium.

The Strikers, however, flirted with disaster before notching their sixth straight win at the expense of hard-fighting but luckless SOCCSKSARGEN Marlins, 65-60.

Chris Bitoon of the Manila Stars tries to gather his balance while driving to the basket. (MPBL photo)

Chris Bitoon of the Manila Stars tries to gather his balance while driving to the basket. (MPBL photo)

Ian Melencio pumped in 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field to lead the way for the Strikers, who notched their sixth straight win and improved their win-loss record to 6-1, the best in the southern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.

Manila also kept its streak going after dumping host team Bulacan, 93-72, for its fourth win in a row. Like the Strikers, the Stars also improved their win-loss record to 6-1, good for second place behind reigning champion San Juan Knights in the tough northern division of the fastest growing regional amateur basketball league.

The Stars were simply too much against the Kuyas, particularly on inside scoring. Manila produced 58 points inside the paint, 32 more than its counterpart.

Even Manila’s bench players were more superb, tallying 52 points compared to only 32 from Bulacan.

Carlo Lastimosa wrought havoc on the defense of Bulacan, torching the hoop for 27 points.

Also winning Wednesday was Basilan, which snapped back-to-back losses and vented its ire on a Valenzuela team that was orphaned by its head coach, Gerry Esplana. The Steel won, 87-78.

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