The Negros Pau Muscovados had a tough 88-72 loss to the Bacoor City Strikers during a game in the 2023 MPBL held on Wednesday night at the Valenzuela City WES Arena.
After losing two games in a row, the Muscovados’ chances of making the playoffs were severely hurt. They now have a 10–17 win–loss record to the overall standings, and unfortunately they have only one game left to play.
Adding to their challenges, the Muscovados, under the guidance of coach Bonnie Garcia, were missing key starters such as Jason Melano, Jun Manzo, Bernie Bregondo, and Jonathan Gantalao Jr.
While Bacoor’s lead increased to 31-21 in the earlier second quarter with the help of Alwyn Alday and Mark Montuano. However, Maloles’ straight baskets pulled the Muscovados within 33-34 before the Strikers increased the gap to 45-38 by halftime.
The Strikers maintained their dominance in the third quarter, with Joel Lee Yu and Kraniel Villoria leading the charge. The lead swelled to 58-40 and later to 69-49 after a basket by Negrense Jhan Nermal.
As the Strikers moved to 22-4 in win-loss record, Montuano led the team in scoring with 13 points, Alday provided 12 points and four rebounds, and John Derico Lopez finished with 10 points.
The Muscovados managed to reduce the deficit to 54-69 at the start of the final quarter. Still, the Strikers quickly responded with consecutive baskets by Chito Jaime, securing a commanding 76-57 lead and maintained it until the final buzzer.
Maloles was the top scorer for the Muscovados with 26 points, including two successful three-pointers. Robert Bartolo contributed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Ingles added 11 points to the team’s losing effort.