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MPBL: Pasay Voyagers stun favored Bacoor Strikers

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PASAY jumped the gun early on a Bacoor team which came out flat, then stayed tough in the endgame to fashion out an 83-78 triumph in the MPBL Lakan Season Thursday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Staring at a four-game losing skid, the Voyagers played with a sense of urgency by taking a 46-36 lead at the half and even padded it to as high as 16, 64-48 capped by a JP Belencion’s three-pointer in the 4:11 mark.

Since then, the Voyagers were held to just a lone field goal as the Strikers unloaded 13 points to trim the gap to 67-61 entering the final period.

“I want the players to continue believing on themselves, this despite losing four in a row. The losses were tough and it gave us a valuable learning experience,” said Pasay coach Marlon Keith Martin.  “This win against Bacoor would somehow give us the confidence the rest of the way.”

Down the stretch, the Voyagers stayed tough even after the Strikers made a game out of it and came to within 81-78 following a buzzer-beating, long triple by RJ Ramirez with still 1:12 left.

In the next play, reigning Most Valuable Player Gab Banal was whistled for a technical foul for flopping while trying to draw a charge from Dhon Reverente and Axel Inigo hit the charity shot.

Both teams traded turnovers, then Reverente split his free throws in the last 13 seconds for the final tally even as Ramirez’s desperation heave failed to hit the mark.

Aside from snapping its skid, Pasay also halted the six-game winning run of Bacoor, which absorbed its second loss in eight games and gave Davao Occidental a free ride to the top of the southern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.

Pasay picked up its fourth win in nine games.

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