Victoria Laurenz Paul Victoria lifts Pasay past Abra.

Zamboanga, Negros share MPBL lead

April 17, 2024 People's Tonight 251 views

ZAMBOANGA and Negros hurdled their rivals on Tuesday to share the top spot in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Sixth Season elimination round at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

Getting back to form, Zamboanga Masters Sardines dumped Mindoro, 86-72, while the Negros Muscovados sustained their strong showing by besting the Bicol Oragons, 75-68.

The Pasay Voyagers subdued the undermanned Abra Weavers, 78-72, in the nightcap.

Zamboanga and Negros tallied their third straight victories in as many games, while Pasay leveled its slate at 1-1.

Former MVP Jaycee Marcelino again paced Zamboanga with 19 points, 9 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals in 29 minutes and 19 seconds of play.

Others who delivered for Zamboanga Coach Louie Alas were fiery recruit Rey Joey Barcuma with 11 points, 4 assists plus 2 steals and burly Joseph Gabayni with 10 points plus 7 rebounds.

Dominant underneath with a 52-40 edge in rebounds, Zamboanga surged beyond reach 77-56 in the fourth quarter and pulled down Mindoro to 1-2.

Mindoro got 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists from Andres Desiderio, 15 points plus 8 rebounds from Lester Reyes and 13 points plus 4 rebounds from Jordan Rios.

Powered by Renz Palma and Jeremy Cruz, the Muscovados held the rein throughout against the Oragons, who suffered their third straight defeat.

Palma wound up with 20 points and 4 rebounds, while Cruz contributed 18 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks for the Muscovados of Coach BonI Garcia.

Mark Atabay contributed 11 points and 9 rebounds while Hubert Cani posted 11 points, 3 assists and 2 blocks for the Muscovados.

Bicol got 16 points and 5 assists from Marvin Lee and 14 points plus 8 rebounds from John Edcel Rojas.

Missing the services of Top Gun Mac Tallo and slotman Prince Caperal, the Abra Weavers trailed by as far as 32-48 and dropped to 2-1 against the Pasay Voyagers, who leveled their slate at 1-1.

Pasay drew power from Laurenz Paul Victoria with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals, Warren Bonifacio with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks, and Patrick Sleat with 12 points plus 6 rebounds.

Abra got 15 points and 11 rebounds from Michael Canate and 13 points plus 6 rebounds from John Lloyd Clemente.

The MPBL visits the Paco Arena in Manila with a triple bill pitting Bacolod against Sarangani at 4 p.m., Bulacan against Pangasinan at 6 p.m., and Bataan against Manila at 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, the MPBL announced that the Tarlac United Force will no longer be a part of the MPBL’s Sixth Season after its failure to fulfill its financial obligations as a new franchise despite several grace periods.

Tarlac’s unceremonious exit left the MPBL Sixth Season with 29 teams.