Basilan Steel and Navotas Clutch bested higher-ranked rivals Saturday in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup at the Bulacan Capitol gym.
The Steel banked on a strong showing in the second half to defeat the Batangas City Athletics, 94-89, while the Clutch waxed hot behind the arc to down the Bulacan Kuyas, 98-89.
It was the Steel’s second straight win to improve their win-loss tally to 6-13 in the South Division while pushing the Athletics to their eighth loss against 11 victories.
Mark Anthony Acosta fueled the Steel with 21 points and seven rebounds even as Dennis Daa and Jerald Bautista chipped in 15 points each. Clark Daniel Bautista also added 11 points, two rebounds and five assists.
Jai Reyes and Richard Albo, meanwhile, accounted for the Clutch’s six of 10 triples to hike their standings to 8-10 in the North Division. The duo combined for 41 points.
Marlon Gomez took charge of the Clutch’s defense by hauling 10 rebounds apart from finishing with 14 points.
The Kuyas fell to 11-8. (KS)