San Juan and Pasig routed their opponents on Saturday to boost their drives for top four spots in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season Presented by Xtreme elimination round at the Orion Sports Complex in Bataan.
The San Juan Knights pounced on the cold-shooting Bataan Risers to prevail, 90-74, while the Pasig Realtors dumped the Laguna Krah Asia Heroes, 74-58, to rise to 13-5 and seize second spot in the North division behind unbeaten pacesetter Nueva Ecija (19-0).
Bacoor also dumped Valenzuela, 98-83, to climb to 8-11 in the South division.
The top four finishers in each division will have the homecourt edge in the best-of-three quarterfinal playoffs.
Bracing for a tough fight, the Knights found the Risers an easy target as they led by as many as 23 points, 82-59, behind the guns of Judel Fuentes and Dexter Maiquez to improve to 12-6, good for the fourth spot in the North division.
Fuentes drilled in 24 points while Marquez poured 20 plus 11 rebounds to power San Juan as Bataan gunners James Dwrin Castro, Ernesto Bondoc and Arvie Bringas could only score 12, 11 and 9 points, respectively.
Like San Juan, Pasig stormed to a 63-38 spread and was never headed by Laguna.
Robbie Manalang led Pasig to its seventh straight win with 18 points, followed by Rey Anthony Peralta with 14 and Ryan Paule Costelo with 13.
Laguna, which skidded to 3-14, got 17 points from John Paul Nietes and 10 each from Floyd Dedicatoria and Mico Bren Pallares.
The Bacoor Strikers, who drew 19 points each from Mark Montuano and Salvador Galit, pulled away at 71-46 and were never threatened on their way to seventh spot. Montuano and Galit added 7 and 6 rebounds, respectively.
Valenzuela fell to 9-10 despite the 26-point effort of Patrick Cabahug and the 20-point output of Jaymar Gimpayan.