Streaking Bacolod and powerhouse Nueva Ecija subdued their opponents Saturday night and kept their clean slates in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season at the Paco Arena in Manila.
Bacolod Bingo Plus subdued the Marikina Shoe Masters, 76-66, while the Nueva Ecjia Rice Vanguards overcame complacency to thwart the GenSan Warriors, 95-83.
Manila finally snap a string of losses with an 84-67 victory over cellar-dweller Mindoro in the nightcap of the MPBL’s first triple-bill this year.
Sans main man Mark Yee, veterans Richard Albo, Alwyn Alday and Edrian Lao presided over Bacolod’s offense against Marikina, which finally paraded its top gun Yves Sazon.
Albo came through with 13 points and 4 rebounds, while Alday and Lao both submitted 12 points and 8 rebounds for Bacolod, which climb to 4-0 under Coach Alex Angeles.
Marikina, which fell to 1-3, got 24 points from Antonio Josob, 16 from Sazon and 12 points and 11 rebounds from Nhomer Gonzales.
The star-laden Rice Vanguards surged ahead at 56-39 at halftime behind the hot hands of Jonathan Uyloan, but relaxed on defense in the fourth quarter and allowed the Warriors to mount a comeback.
A layup by Elvin Chan enabled the Warriors to knot the count at 71 with astill 9 minutes and 7 seconds to go, forcing Nueva Ecija Coach Jerson Cabiltes to sue for time.
Upon resumption, the Rice Vanguards asserted their superiority, dropping 10 straight points, including back-to-back triples by John Bryon Villarias to regain control at 81-71 with 7:03 left.
Jay Collado, Michael Mabulac, Will McAloney and Pamboy Raymundo towed Nueva Ecija beyond reach, 95-80, with only 38 seconds left.
Uyloan shot a perfect 4 of 4 from the 3-point zone, 1 of 1 field goal, and 3 of 3 free throws to notch 17 points and earn best player honors.
Mabulac added 16 points and 9 rebounds, McAloney 15 points and 7 rebounds and Jay Collado 11 points and 3 rebounds.
GenSan drew 14 points from Michole Sorela, 13 each from Mark Cruz, Christopher Masiglang and Nikko Panganiban and 10 from Jaypee Belencion but still dropped to 0-3.
Veeran Gary David fired 17 points, Ira Bataller 14 and Dan Sara for Manila, which handed Mindoro a fifth straight defeat despite the 14-point efforts of homegrown Rodel Vaygan and former Ginebra guard Tey Teodoro.
The MPBL returns to the FilOil Flying V Centre tomorrow (Monday)with a doubleheader pitting Pasig against Pampanga at 7 p.m. and Zamboanga against San Juan at 9 p.m.