Flores Joshua Flores delivers for Iloilo United Royals.

GenSan repels Zamboanga

August 1, 2023 People's Tonight 244 views

GENERAL Santos City repelled Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines’ fightback to win, 74-71, on Monday in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season Visayas Invasion at the City of Passi Arena in Iloilo.

The Iloilo United Royals followed suit with an equally shaky 70-66 victory over the Manila Stars in the nightcap.

Trailing by as far as 25-45 early in the fourth quarter, Zamboanga threatened at 69-71 behind Chris Dumapig’s six straight points with 47 seconds left.

Kyt Jimenez, however, scored underneath and landed hard following an unsportsmanlike foul from Dumapig with 30 seconds left to give GenSan the breather en route to its 16th win against 5 losses in the round-robin elimination phase of the 29-team tournament.

Zamboanga’s JV Marcelino drove in with 13 seconds left, while GenSan’s John Wilson split his two charities for the final count that pulled down the Zamboanguenos’ record to 15-6.

Homegrown Cris Masaglang tallied 14 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals to earn best player honors for GenSan, which drew 12 points and 9 rebounds from Jervy Cruz, 11 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds from Christian Fajarito and 10 points plus 8 rebounds from Larry Rodriguez.

Jimenez, owner of a very rare quadruple-double, ended up with 6 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.

Zamboanga got 19 points and 7 rebounds from Dumapig and 14 points plus 4 assists from Judel Fuentes.

Zamboanga raced to a 41-25 halftime spread behind Masaglang and Cruz, who accounted for 10 and 8 points, respectively.

Manila knotted the count for the last time at 65 following a triple by Kyle Neypes, Iloilo, however, responded with a five-point cluster behind CJ Catapusan’s layup, Joshua Flores’ two charities and Omar Larupay’s split free throws to break free with 13 seconds left and raise its card to 10-12.

Flores wound up with 21 points and 7 rebounds, while Shaquille Imperial provided support with 15 points and 3 rebounds.

Others who shone for Iloilo were JR Uytengco with 9 points plus 19 rebounds and Lorenzo Navarro with 5 points, 9 assists, 4 steals plus 3 rebounds.

Manila, which tumbled to 3-20, got 21 points plus 7 rebounds from homegrown Mark Yu and 11 points plus 5 rebounds from Neypes.

The game was tight from the start with neither team leading by more than seven points. It was also marked by 20 lead changes and nine deadlocks.

…The MPBL returns to Luzon for another triple bill at the Strike Gymnasium in Bacoor, Cavite. Bacolod tackles Batangas at 4 p.m., Valenzuela battles Sarangani at 6 p.m., and Bicol faces Bacoor at 8 p.m.