Bataan repulsed Valenzuela in double overtime, 99-96, to share the spotlight with Nueva Ecija in the OKbet-MPBL 4th
conference presented by Xtreme on Saturday at the sweaty, people-packed Orion Sports Complex in Bataan.
The star-studded Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards flaunted their strength over the erstwhile unscathed Sarangani Marlins, 87-79, and cruised to their sixth straight win in as many starts to in the 22-team, 2-division tournament.
Will McAloney sparkled with 23 points and 9 rebounds as the Rice Vanguards led by as many as 26 points, 80-54, and pulled down the Marlins to 5-1.
Other major contributors for Nueva Ecija were Jay Collado with 12 points and 4 rebounds, Pamboy Raymundo with 11 points, 5 assists, 2 steals and 2 rebounds, and Michael Juico with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
YouTube sensation Kyt Jimenez found his range in the fourth quarter, drilling in 18 of his 27 points, but all he could do was cut Sarangani’s deficit to single-digit.
While Nueva Ecija-Sarangani turned out to be lopsided, Bataan-Valenzuela was a thriller.
The Camaya Coast-supported Bataan drew 6 points from James Darwin Castro in the second extension to finally subdue Valenzuela XUR Homes Realty Inc. and climb to 3-1.
The Bataan Risers were ready to celebrate earlier, but Valenzuela’s Patrick Cabahug canned a 3-pointer, his seventh for the night, off two defenders with 18 seconds left to force the first overtime, 77-77.
It was Arvie Bringas’ turn to play hero for Bataan in the extra period, scoring a buzzer-beater lay-up to extend the game anew, 89-89.
Bringas used his burly 6-foot-4 frame tlo tally 22 points and 16 rebounds. He was supported by Castro, who wound up with 22 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, and homegrown Gio Espuelas with 20 points and 5 rebounds.
Cabahug finished with 27 points, followed by homegrown Jaymar Gimpayan with 13 points and 19 rebounds, and Lord Hower Casajeros with 19 points and 5 rebounds.
The GenSan Warriors got an added lift from Gerald Anderson and routed Quezon City MG Cars, 114-83, in the opener of the triple-bill.
Anderson poured all of his 16 points in the second half to earn best player honors and complement the 18-point, 12-rebound output of Dhon Reverente.
GenSan, which is being supported by OKbet, also got 14 points from Marlon Gomez, 11 points from Pari Llagas and 10 points from Nikko Panganiban.
The MPBL returns to the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga on Monday with another triple-bill pitting Manila against debuting Muntinlupa at 5 p.m., San Juan against Imus at 7 p.m. and Marikina against Quezon City at 9 p.m.