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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Manila thwarts Bulacan, levels MPBL card at 1-1

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Manila SV Batang Sampaloc wasted a 12-point spread but held on to beat Bulacan, 75-72, on Saturday in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Sixth Season at the Batangas City Coliseum.

The Manila Stars clustered eight points, capped by a DJ Mitchell triple, to pull away, 73-61, with 2 minutes and 19 seconds to go.

The Bulacan Kuyas refused to yield and countered with a 9-point run to threaten at 70-73 with still 19.4 seconds left.

Enzo Navarro, however, calmly canned two free throws to seal Manila’s first win in two games with 13.9 ticks remaining. Bulacan suffered its second straight defeat.

Manila, backed by Strong Group Athletics, was led by Carl Bryan Cruz with 17 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals.

He drew support from Mitchell with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, Pao Javelona with 9 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds, and Ahmad Didat Hanapi with 9 points.

Navarro finished with 5 points, 8 assists and 4 rebounds for Manila of Coach Gabby Severino.

Bulacan got 17 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists from Nino Ibanez, 12 points, 11 rebounds plus 5 blocks from Ralph Manzo, 11 points from Francisco Tancioco, and 10 points plus 8 rebounds from John Carandang.

The MPBL visits the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Monday. On tap are games pitting Imus against Quezon City at 4 p.m., Marikina against Pampanga at 6 p.m., and Muntinlupa against Rizal at 8 p.m.

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