RIZAL XentroMall survived a fiery rally by Parañaque to prevail, 80-79, in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season at the Olivarez College Gymnasium in Paranaque.
Trailing, 70-79, going to the last two minutes, the Parañaque Patriots bunched eight points, capped by Jielo Razon’s triple to threaten.
Edgar Charcos then split two free throws to give Rizal a 2-point lead, but Paranaque’s Keith Pido got fouled and also went to the 15-foot line with 10 seconds left.
Pido, who wound up with 15 points, made the first, but bungled the second, paving the way for Rizal’s fifth win in 14 games while pulling down the Patriots to 6-8 in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 29-team tournament.
Homegrown Troy Mallillin again led Rizal with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks, followed by Michael Are with 13 points and Pido with 11.
Paranaque also got 15 points from Razon, all in the fourth quarter, 12 from Jayboy Solis and 11 from Pari Llagas.
Pasig City MCW Sports stunned the Bacoor City Strikers, 79-72, in an earlier encounter to climb to 9-5.
Ryan Paule Costelo shone for Pasig, which broke away at 35-51, with 26 points plus 4 rebounds and 3 assists. He was backed by Pierce Tyron Chan with 17 points plus 3 rebounds and 3 assists, and Kenny Roger Rocacurva with 15 points plus 8 rebounds.
Bacoor, which suffered only its second loss in 13 games, drew 19 points and 9 rebounds from Mark Yee and 10 points from Yvan Ludovice.
As projected, San Juan trounced Bicol, 82-63, in the opener to rise to 8-3.
Adrian Nocum, a former Mapua Cardinal, paced the San Juan Knights with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals, followed by Orlan Wamar with 13 points, 8 assists and 3 steals.
Zach Huang and Egie Boy Mojica added 12 points each.
Bicol, which got 15 points from James Martinez and 10 each from Wowie Escosio and Redel Fabro, remained winless after 14 games.
The MPBL goes to the Bren Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando with Quezon City facing Nueva Ecija at 4 p.m., Manila tackling Quezon Province at 6 p.m., and Sarangani battling Pampanga at 8 p.m.