Sarangani moved closer toward a quarterfinal slot while Valenzuela reentered the upper half on Friday in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season presented by Xtreme at the CSJDEM Sports Complex in Bulacan.
Caloocan, on the other hand, stunned Rizal, 95-87, and refueled its drive in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 22-team tournament that visited the City of San Jose Del Monte for the first time.
Leaning on the hot hands of Paul Sanga, the Sarangani Marlins trounced the Bataan Risers, 92-80, to tally their fourth straight win and raised their record to 9-2.
Sanga scored 21 points on top of 9 rebounds to lead the Marlins, who pulled away at 83-60 despite the absence of crack guards Kyt Jimenez and Yvan Ludovice.
The 6-foot-4 Sanga, a former FarEasten University standout, was supported by Donald Gumaru, veteran Gabby Espinas. Homegrown Tricky Peromingan and new acquisition Macky Acosta, in pulling down the Risers to 7-3.
Gumaru fired 16 points and issued 9 assists, Espinas posted 11 points and 6 assists, Peromingan 10 points and 7 rebounds and Acosta 10 points plus 4 rebounds as the Marlins hardly felt the absence of the injured Jimenez and Ludovice.
Bataan got 17 points and 16 rebounds from Arvie Bringas, 14 points from James Darwin Castro and 11 points each from Gio Espuelas and Guilmer Torre.
Valenzuela XUR Homes Realty Inc. withstood Muntinlupa’s tough stand to prevail, 85-80, and raise its slate to 7-6.
Jaymar Gimpayan and Ronjay Buenafe towed Valenzuela to its third straight win with 17 and 16 points, respectively, followed by Andrey Armenion with 13.
It was Patrick Cabahug, however, who delivered five of his 12 points in the homestretch to hand Muntinlupa its fifth straight defeat for a 2-6 card.
Lord Hower Casajeros added 11 points as Valenzuela negated the 30-point explosion of Muntinlupa’s Domark Matillano.
Caloocan banked on Jomar Santos, Damian Lasco, John Lee Valin and JR Raflores to subdue Rizal Xentromall, 95-87, in the nightcap and improve to 3-7.
Santos posted 17 points and 13 rebounds, Lasco 15 points, Valin 12 and Raflores for Caloocan, which paraded new hires James Martinez and Joseph Terso. Martinez contributed 9 points, 5 assists and 2 rebounds, while Terso chipped in 8 points on a perfect 2 of 2 from the 3-point zone and 1 of 1 from the 2-point area.
Rizal, which saw its 4-win run end, fell to 7-3 despite the 16-point effort of Keanu Caballero, 13 each from Edgar Charcos and Jordan Rios, and 12 from Laurenz Victoria.
The MPBL goes to the Strike Coliseum in Bacoor City on Saturday with a triple-bill featuring Batangas City Embassy Chill against Manila at 5 p.m. Other games pit Pasig against Quezon City MG Cars at 7 p.m. and Bacoor against Laguna Krah Asia at 9 p.m.
Caption: Damian Lasco provides firepower for Caloocan.