MANILA — Ato Ular scored the winning basket as Marikina sizzled in the fourth quarter to trump Bacoor City, 87-85, in the MPBL Datu Cup at the Imus City Sports Complex on Friday night.
Ular scored the go-ahead basket with four seconds left off a Francis Munsayac feed as the Shoemasters joined a virtual tie for eighth to 11th spots in the Southern Division.
Bacoor City was actually poised to take the virtual home win, considering the game being held in the adjacent city of Imus, leading 80-73 with only 4:09 left in the game.
However, Marikina went on a 12-3 run capped by a basket by Erwin Sta. Maria off a Jondan Salvador pass to take an 85-83 lead with 58 seconds left.
The team then forced an eight-second violation on Bacoor City, but Marikina failed to put away the game immediately as Munsayac’s triple in the next play rimmed out and Gab Banal scored in the ensuing Bacoor City possession to tie the game up, 85-all, with 17 seconds remaining.
Munsayac then found Ular open from mid-range for the winning basket as Banal’s last-gasp from beyond the arc missed the target.
Ular finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds, and two blocks for the Shoemasters, who now tied the Zamboanga Valientes at 10th place at 7-10.
They are virtually tied with joint eighth placers Laguna and Cebu City, who are at 8-11, although Laguna and Cebu City are above on a better winning percentage. Cebu City currently holds the eighth spot due to the winner-over-the-other rule.
Salvador (11 points, 11 rebounds) and Jay-R Ng Sang (15 points, 11 rebounds) also put up double-doubles while Ryan Costelo (17 points, eight assists) came close to one of his own.
Banal missed out on a triple-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists with one block for Bacoor City, which fell to 8-9, tying GenSan for fifth place.
In the nightcap, Imus blasted Parañaque at home, 95-77.
Jonathan Rivera and James Castro each scored 15 points for the Bandera, who limited the rebuilding Patriots to just 14 points in the first quarter and made 29 points in the third quarter en route to the blowout.
Ian Melencio put up 13 markers, while Genmar Bragais and Raniel Diwa had 12 each for Imus, which now has a winning record at 9-8.
Paolo Castro made 18 points, eight boards, six dimes, and one steal for Parañaque, which fell to seventh place in the South at 8-10. (PNA)