The Bacoor City Strikers welcomed back Michael Canete with a 73-49 pounding of the San Juan Knights on Monday in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season at the Strike Gymnasium in Bacoor.
Canete, who had a forgettable stint with the San Miguel Beermen, returned to the Bacoor roster and shared the offensive load with former San Beda star James Kwekuteye as the Strikers stormed to a 73-45 spread en route to their sixth win against a loss in the elimination round of the 29-team tournament.
The 6-foot-4 Canete fired 14 points and so did the 6-foot-2 Kwekuteye, who also snagged 5 rebounds for the Strikers, one of the teams which tinkered with their rosters this year.
Veteran Mark Yee could only contribute seven points but compensated with 11 rebounds for the Strikers, who also drew eight points and five rebounds from Jhan McHale Nermal and six points plus nine rebounds from Jammer Jamito.
San Juan, which absorbed its second loss in five outings, got 12 points and 13 rebounds from Michael Calisaan and 10 points from Orlan Wamar.
Earlier, Batangas City Embassy Chill and Caloocan Batang Kankaloo also routed their respective rivals.
The Batangas Athletics vented their ire on the Marikina Shoemasters, 82-56, while the Batang Kankaloo leaned on a balanced attack to subdue the Oriental Mindoro Disiplinados, 99-74.
Hurting from a 74-81 beating it absorbed from Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines on April 25, Batangas went all-out to dominate Marikina, leading by as far as 81-54 in posting its sixth win.
Although Rudy Lingganay was the lone double-digit scorer for Batangas with 13, he was well-supported as John Ambulodto made 9 points while Jeckster Apinan, Juneric Baloria and CJ Isit chipped in 8 points each.
Marikina tumbled to 3-4 despite the 15-point effort of Raymond Casajeros and the 11-point output of Joe Gomez De Liano.
In improving to 4-2, Caloocan drew 17 points from Paul Sanga, 15 from Gabby Espinas and 14 from Alfren Gayosa.
Oriental Mindoro skidded to 1-7 despite the 22-point explosion of Rodel Vaygan, the 18-point contribution of Teytey Teodoro and the 10-point donation of Marvel Jimenez.
The MPBL returns to the Imus Sports Complex since the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc with a triple bill pitting Quezon City against Valenzuela at 4 p.m., Laguna against Pampanga at 6 p.m. and GenSan against Imus at 8 p.m.