Bacolod Bingo Plus worked in cohesion to offset the absence of a key player and open its stint in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) fourth season with a 67-57 victory over Imus Bandera late Monday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Jhan McHale Nermal fired 17 points and snared 8 rebounds to lead 11 other Bacolodnons who managed to score in the game they took control after a 10-point run, 48-43, closing the third quarter.
Imus led, 40-30, midway of the third, before collapsing to its second straight defeat.
Earlier, Valenzuela City rebounded from an opening day loss with a 79-67 conquest of Mindoro.
Valenzuela, being supported by MJAS Zenith, banked on Jhaymar Gimpayan, Patrick Cabahug, Felix Apreku and Lordy Casajeros to thwart Mindoro. The 6-foot-3 Nermal, a local star from STI-West Negros, was supported by Jeramer Cabanag (12 points), Edrian Lao (9 points) and Aaron Jeruta 7 points as Bacolod showed its worth sans veteran Mark Yee, who did not play.
With Coach Alex Angeles distributing playing time, Bacolod’s bench outscored that of Imus, 54-36, and led by as many as 14 points, 63-49, early in the fourth quarter.
Imus Coach Manny Torralba got 18 points from homegrown star Ian Melencio but no other Bandera could score in twin digits.
Gimpayan tallied 21 points and 17 rebounds, Cabahug 14 points and 12 rebounds, Casajeros 13 points, and Apreku 9 points, 16 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 blocks for Coach Aldrin Morante.
Mindoro drew 14 points each from former Ginebra guard Teytey Teodoro and Larce Christian Sunga, who added 12 rebounds.