THE Batangas City Embassy Chill Athletics pounded the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors underneath and prevailed, 67-60, late Tuesday in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season at the Batangas City Coliseum.
With Cedric Ablaza, John Ambulodto and Jeckster Apinan combining for 30 rebounds, Batangas ruled the boards, 65-42, paving the way for more second chance (18-9) and fastbreak points (11-4) that turned out to be pivotal in the Athletics’ second straight win in as many starts.
Ablaza wound up with 12 points and 12 rebounds, Ambulodto 12 and 10 and Apinan 10 and 8 for Batangas, which is trying to regain glory since becoming the MPBL’s inaugural champion in the 2018 Rajah Cup.
The debuting Realtors got 18 points from Jason Melano, 17 from Carlo Lastimosa and 10 from Aldeo Luceno.
Batangas, now being mentored by Cholo Villanueva, pulled away at 65-49 before cruising to victory and proving its 76-56 dumping of Imus in the MPBL opener on April 25 was no fluke.
Levi Hernandez chipped in nine points and four rebounds for Batangas Embassy Chill, formerly Batangas Tanduay.
Earlier, Makati subdued Mindoro, 82-78, to level its slate at 1-1.
Homegrown Carlos Morales and Kobe Bryant Pableo, Costudio Lastra and Mark Lester Santamaria pooled their efforts in the fourth quarter as the Makati MNL Kingpins repulse the Mindoro Tamaraws, who led for the last time at 77-75 on a triple by homegrown star Rodel Vaygan.
Sta. Maria answered with a triple and Pableo drove in to push Makati ahead, 80-77, with only 45 seconds left.
Makati, which lost to Valenzuela City (52-56) on May 3, got clobbered off the boards, 39-63, but still found a way to hand the Tamaraws their second straight loss.
Larry Arpia paced Makati with 17 points and 9 rebounds, followed by Sta. Maria and Sarmiento with 12 points each and Morales with 11.
Vaygan, an MPBL All-Star, posted 19 points and snagged 12 rebounds, while Larce Christian Sunga accounted for 13 points and as many rebounds.
Former Ginebra guard Tey Teodoro tallied 15 points and Carlo Abadeza 10 for Mindoro.