Muntinlupa thwarts San Juan in MPBL

September 13, 2023 People's Tonight 280 views

MUNTINLUPA banked on free throw accuracy to turn back San Juan, 90-89, on Tuesday in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season elimination round at the Marikina Sports Center.

Unable to make a field goal in the last four minutes, Muntinlupa compensated by making 11 of 12 charities, with Dave Moralde going 9 of 10 and Ian Melencio hitting 2 of 2 in the last four seconds that enabled the Cagers to withstand the San Juan Knights’ rally from as many as 17 points down, 58-77, early in the fourth quarter.

Michael Calisaan poured 11 points and Marwin Taywan added 8, including the go-ahead layup for San Juan with 11 seconds left.

Muntinlupa drew a game-high 19 points from John Amores, but it was Moralde and Melencio who got the job done with 17 points and 14 points, respectively. Melencio added 11 assists as the Cagers raised their record to 15-10.

San Juan tumbled to 19-6 despite the 15-point, 10-rebound effort of Calisaan and the 15-point, 6-rebound, 4-steal output of Adrian Nocum.

Wamar tallied 14 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds and 6 steals, followed by Adrian Nocum with 11 points and Zachary Huang with 10.

The Cagers made 21 of 24 free throw attempts for a lofty 87.5 percent which proved to be pivotal as the Knights could only convert 21 of 38 tries for 55.3 percent.

Earlier, the Manila Stars bested the Bulacan Kuyas, 72-68, in a battle of also-rans.

Jay Yutuc presided over Manila’s offense with 17 points, 11 in the third quarter where the Stars surged ahead, 62-44, en route to their fourth win in 26 games.

Bulacan dropped to 6-20 despite getting 16 points from Rence Alcoriza and 13 points each from Bernson Sebastian and Jeremy Cruz.

The MPBL goes to the Wes Arena in Valenzuela on Wednesday with Rizal battling Caloocan at 4 p.m., Bacoor tackling Negros at 6 p.m., and Valenzuela clashing with Paranaque at 8 p.m.