Sarao JP Sarao provides Paranaque with power.

Quezon shares MPBL top spot

May 24, 2024 People's Tonight 243 views

THE Quezon Huskers overpowered the Imus Agimat VA Drones, 100-73, on Wednesday to share the lead in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Sixth Season elimination round at the Alonte Sports Center in Biñan, Laguna.

Drawing points from 13 Huskers led by Lucena City Mayor Mark Alcala, Quezon surged ahead, 54-31, at halftime and padded it to 89-6o midway through the fourth quarter to secure their seventh win in as many starts that pushed them in the company of the San Juan Knights in the 29-team tournament.

Alcala tallied 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal to earn best player honors as Quezon overtook Nueva Ecija and Binan, both with 6-0 slates.

NCAA Season 98 MVP Will Gozum supported Alcala with 12 points and 4 rebounds, followed by homegrown Rodel Gravera with 11 points plus 4 rebounds and Judel Fuentes with 10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.

The Huskers, being coached by Eric Gonzales, also drew 9 points each from Ximone Sandagon, Mon Abundo and Gab Banal.

Imus suffered its ninth straight defeat despite the 20-point, 4-rebound, 5-assist, 3 steal effort of Luis Tapenio.

Other games saw Paranaque nip Zamboanga Master Sardines, 65-62, in the nightcap and South Cotabato thwart Marikina, 76-72, in the opener.

The Parañaque Patriots posted the game’s biggest lead at 49-39, then held their ground through JP Sarao and Philip Manalang to tie the Zamboanguenos at 7-2.

Sarao chalked 17 points, 11 in the third quarter, 5 rebounds and 2 blocks, followed by Manalang with 13 points and 7 assists and John Uduba with 11 points and 8 rebounds.

Former MPBL MVP Jaycee Marcelino tried to bail out Zamboanga with 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals but fell short as Zamboanga missed the services of his backcourt partner and twin brother Jayvee. Zamboanga also got 10 points and 8 rebounds from John Mahari.

Marikina clustered six points to gain control, 71-68, but South Cotabato retaliated through John Wilson’s two charities and Nico Elorde’s clutch triple to regain the lead with 46.4 seconds left.

Marikina’s Eric Pili and Wilson split their two free throws before Marwin Dionisio drilled two charities with 1.7 ticks left to seal the Warriors’ sixth win against three losses.

Elorde finished with 12 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists to emerge best player. He was supported by Chris Dumapig with 11 points plus 7 rebounds and Kyle Tolentino with 10 points. Wilson wound up with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.

Marikina, which clawed back from a 34-49 hole, dropped to 1-8.

The Shoemasters got 17 points, 3 assists and 2 steals from Ahron Estacio and 12 points, 3 rebounds from homegrown Eloie Tan.

The MPBL visits the Wes Arena in Valenzuela City with another triple bill pitting Sarangani against Muntinlupa at 4 p.m., Bacolod against Nueva Ecija at 6 p.m. and Bulacan against Valenzuela at 8 p.m.