Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines sped ahead in overtime and went on to subdue Sarangani, 89-86, late Monday and remain unscathed in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season presented by Xtreme at the people-packed Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Adrian Santos laid up twice while Mon Mabayo and Jayvee Marcelino canned a triple each as Zamboanga surged ahead, 87-78, in the extension period en route to its sixth straight win in the single round-robin elimination round of the 22-team tournament.
Although Sarangani, which fell to 5-2, retaliated with back-to-back triples by Paul Sanga and Donald Gumaru and a lay-up by John Jordan Sta. Ana to threaten at 86-87, Reden Celda provided the insurance charities for Zamboanga with just 3 seconds to go.
Sanga got free for a long 3, which rattled off the ring, for the final count.
Zamboanga drew 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists from Jhapz Bautista, 13-points plus 5 rebounds from Mon Mabayo, 12 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists from Jayvee Marcelino, 11 points plus 7 boards from Chris Dumapig, 11 points from Jefferson Comia, 10 points and 11 rebounds from Adrian Santos and 9 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals from Jaycee Marcelino.
YouTube sensation Kyt Jimenez posted 19 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists for Sarangani, also being supported by OKbet.
Sanga also scored 19 points, John Jordan Sta. Ana 13, Jonjon Gabriel 10 points plus 10 rebounds and Donald Gumaru 9 points.
With Jimenez dropping 11 points, Sarangani overtook Zamboanga, 77-75, but Comia drove in to forge overtime.
GenSan halted Pampanga’s 3-game run with a 77-73 victory in the nightcap, while Batangas City stretched its winning streak to 7 with a 77-62 drubbing of Valenzuela City, which tumbled to 4-4 like Pampanga.
A triple by Mark Cruz gave the OKbet-banked GenSan a 67-57 lead midway through the fourth quarter, which cushioned the impact of an Earnest Reyes-led final assault by Pampanga.
GenSan’s balanced offense was led by Marlon Gomez with 16 points, Cruz 10, Nikko Panganiban 10, Niko Elorde 9 and Dhon Reverente with 9 plus 15 boards.
Actor Gerald Anderson, playing as a homegrown for GenSan, contributed 7 points and 3 rebounds.
Pampanga got 19 points from Dominick Vera, 13 from Reyes, 13 from Christopher Lagrama and 11 from Archie Concepcion.
The MPBL makes its second visit to Nueva Ecija on Tuesday with another triple-bill at the Nueva Ecija Coliseum in Palayan City. Unbeaten Nueva Ecija (7-0) tangles with dangerous San Juan (3-3) in the main game at 9 p.m. Other games pit Quezon City (2-3) against Mindoro (1-6) at 5 p.m. and Bacoor (2-2) against Muntinlupa (0-1) at 7 p.m.