MPBL

Quezon, Rizal trip MPBL rivals

April 22, 2024 Ed Andaya 148 views

DEBUTING teams Nueva Ecija and Quezon Province shook off sluggish starts to beat their opponents on Saturday in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Sixth Season elimination round at the Nueva Ecija Coliseum in Palayan City.

The Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards rallied to forge overtime where they blitzed Quezon City TODA Aksyon, 80-74, to duplicate the Quezon Huskers’ scrambling 88-81 victory over the Valenzuela Classics.

JC Cullar canned a short jumper to extend the game for Nueva Ecija, 66-66, after which Will McAloney, Mer Jesper Ayaay, JB Bahio and Eman Calo took over the scoring chores to lift the Rice Vanguards to victory after trailing for 33 minutes and 9 seconds.

Ayaay wound up with 17 points and 7 rebounds while McAloney finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks for Nueva Ecija Coach Don Dulay.

Nueva Ecija, the Fourth Season national champion, also drew prower from Rob Celiz with 13 points and 5 rebounds, Cullar with 12 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds, and Bahio with 10 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists.

Quezon City, which suffered its first defeat in three games, got 18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals from Rafael Are and 15 points plus 4 rebounds from Abdul Sawat.

Valenzuela surged ahead, 49-34, and held the rein for a total of 27 minutes and 17 seconds, but in the end, it was Quezon City that shone behind LJay Gonzales, Cyrus Torres, RJ Minerva and Ximone Sandagon.

Gonzales, a former Fare Eastern University hotshot, notched 18 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, followed by Torres with 14 points and 3 rebounds, Minerva with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists, and Sandagon with 11 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals.

Valenzuela fell to 1-2 despite the 18-point, 10-rebound effort of Fil-Am CJ Payawal, the 16-point, 4-rebound, 3-assist effort of Chauca, and the 11-point contribution of Christian De Chavez.

In the opener, Rizal XentroMall overcame a stiff fight from Bicolandia to tally its third straight victory, 85-82, and share the lead in the round-robin eliminations.

Kraniel Victoria compiled 18 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals and 1 block for Rizal, which joined Batangas, Negros, Paranaque and Zamboanga at the top of the heap.

The Rizal Golden Coolers also drew 16 points and 12 rebounds from John Apacible and 16 points plus 5 rebounds from Alwyn Alday.

Bicolandia fell to the cellar at 0-4 in the company of Marikina.

The MPBL returns to the Alonte Sports Arena with another triple-bill pitting Pampanga against Mindoro at 4 p.m., Zamboanga against Negros at 6 p.m. and Abra against host Binan at 8 p.m.

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