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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Rizal stuns Pampanga, Iloilo clobbers Bacolod

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Rizal XentroMall jolted the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Sixth Season with a 78-71 stunner over defending national champion Pampanga on Tuesday at the Villar Coliseum in Las Pinas City.

Trailing by as far as 13-32, the Golden Coolers tied the Golden Coolers at halftime, 38-38, then controlled the rest of the way to join the ranks of the early leaders.

Feeling the absence of reigning MPBL MVP Justine Baltazar, who showed up in street clothes, the Giant Lanterns fell behind, 64-74, in the fourth quarter from which they were unable to recover.

Kraniel Victoria tallied 16 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals while Keith Agovida posted 16 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals for Rizal, which also drew 12 points, 13 rebounds and 4 assists from Alwyn Alday.

Pampanga, which missed head coach Gov. Dennis Pineda who was abroad, got 13 points from Kurt Reyson, 11 points plus 12 rebounds from Brandon Ramirez and 11 points plus 11 rebounds from Kevin Kyle Santos.

Although Pampanga still ruled the boards 60-47, the Giant Lanterns were hobbled by poor shot selection, making just 29 of 82 attempts for 35.4 percent, and free throw shooting, making just 8 of 21 attempts for 38.1 percent.

In contrast, Rizal converted 9 of 14 tries for 64.3 percent.

Earlier, the Iloilo United Royals got better each quarter and battered the Bacolod City of Smiles, 85-67.

Up by just five points at the turn, the United Royals surged ahead, 66-49, after the third quarter, before thwarting the Bacolenos’ fightbacks in the battle between debuting teams.

Chris Doliguez and Ry De La Rosa led Iloilo with 15 points each, followed by homegrown Mark Nonoy with 10 points and Jason Credo with 9.

Clobbered off the boards, 49-63, the United Royals compensated with better field goal shooting, converting 34 of 61 tries for 42 percent against only 22 out of 75 for the Bacolenos.

Doliguez also snagged five rebounds while De La Rosa had four rebounds and two assists for Iloilo Coach Mac Abolucion.

Bacolod drew 15 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists from Danny Marilao, 10 points and 14 rebounds from Nichole Ubalde and 10 points plus 6 rebounds from Salvador Galit.

With De La Rosa and Doliguez combining for 12 points, Iloilo pulled away to stay at 66-45, late in the third quarter.

Arena in Binan on Wednesday with South Cotabato battling Imus at 4 p.m., Quezon City tackling Muntinlupa at 6 p.m., and Batangas facing Bulacan at 8 p.m.

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