Quezon, Zamboanga hurdle MPBL rivals

June 22, 2024 People's Tonight 216 views

QUEZON Province and Zamboanga Master Sardines beat separate opponents to keep their lofty spots in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Sixth Season at the Paco Arena in Manila.

The Quezon Huskers foiled Sarangani’s fightbacks and prevailed, 72-68, for a perfect 12-0 record and the solo lead in the round-robin elimination phase of the 29-team tournament.

The Zamboanguenos, on the other hand, banked on Jaycee Marcelino to subdue the Rizal Xentromall Golden Golden Coolers, 77-69, and rise to an 11-3 slate in the nightcap.

Quezon’s Ximone Sandagon and LJ Gonzales canned two free throws each to shatter the last deadlock at 68 with 23.7 seconds left in the opening game.

It was Gab Banal, however, who shone the most for Quezon with 18 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds and 2 steals to earn best player honors. Gonzales finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals while Domark Matillano ended up with 11 points, spiked by 3 triples.

The Huskers could not pull away as the Marlins kept coming back through Ryan Isaac Sual, Marvin Hayes and Jaymark Mallari.

Sual wound up with 18 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists, while Hayes submitted a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds plus 2 assists for the Marlins, who tumbled to 3-11.

Zamboanga also needed some time to find its rhythm going with Marcelino orchestrating the plays.

Showing the form that made him the MPBL Fourth Season MVP, Marcelino posted 31 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks to earn another best player honor.

Pedrito Galanza poured in 11 points while Marcelino added 9 as they outscored the entire Golden Coolers, who managed 19, in the fourth quarter.

Galanza finished with 15 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds, Mark Omega tallied 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Adrian Santos contributed 8 points plus 7 rebounds for Zamboanga Coach Louie Alas.

Rizal, which fell to 8-6, got 20 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists from Bambam Gamalinda, 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals from Alwyn Alday, 9 points plus 8 rebounds from Marco Balagtas and 6 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals from Kraniel Villoria.

The Bicolandia Oragons nipped the Imus Agimat VA Drones, 107-104, in the second game for their second straight win and a 2-12 record.

Ralph Jeffrey Deles paced Bicol with 25 points, 16 rebounds plus 6 assists, followed by Shaquille Alanes with 24 points, 5 assists plus 3 rebounds, and Lord Hower Casajeros with 16 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists.

Charles Burgos and John Edcel Rojas chipped in 11 points each.

Imus remained winless after 14 starts despite the 37-point, 10-rebound explosion of John Rey Sumido, the 23-point, 10-rebound, 7-assist effort of Fil-Am Richard Popovic and the 12-point, 10-rebound output of Wowie Kadir.

The MPBL visits the Olivarez College Gymnasium with games pitting Marikina against Muntinlupa at 4 p.m., San Juan against Bacolod at 6 p.m. and Binan against Parañaque at 8 p.m.