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Friday, June 14, 2024

Batangas, QC turn back MPBL rivals

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Batangas City and Quezon City met stiff resistance before subduing their opponents on Wednesday in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Sixth Season at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.

So unlike South Cotabato which dumped Imus, 105-65, in the opening game.

The Batangas Tanduay Rum Masters proved steadier in the homestretch and bested Bulacan, 76-68, while the Quezon City TODA Aksyon rallied past Muntinlupa, 81-74, to join the early leaders in the 30-team league.

Levi Hernandez, Cedric Ablaza and Dawn Ochea joined forces as Batangas couldn’t break away and had to thwart Bulacan’s repeated assaults.

Hernandez wound up with 19 points, including 5 in the fourth quarter, Ablaza poured 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Ochea ended up with 15 points 6 rebounds and 2 steals for the Rum Masters.

Veteran Paolo Hubalde carried the fight for Bulacan with 18 points, including 7 in the fourth, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Only John Carandang, however, provided offensive support with 10 points plus 4 rebounds.

Trailing 44-54, Quezon City banked on Rhinwill Yambing and homegrowns Chino Mosqueda and Rafael Are to turn the second game around.

The high-flying Yambing finished with 16 points and 3 rebounds, while Mosqueda posted 15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Are tallied 12 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists.

The South Cotabato Warriors stormed ahead by as far as 103-68 to serve notice of their strong challenge this year.

Val Acuna, Kyle Tolentino and Mark Cruz presided over South Cotrabato’s romp.

Acuna fired a game-high 21 points, including 3 triples, while Tolentino contributed 18, including 4 triples, for South Cotabato Coach Elvis Tolentino.

Other major contributors for South Cotabato, formerly GenSan, were Jervy Cruz with 15 points, spiked by 3 triples and 4 assists, and Mark Cruz, who tallied 11 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds.

The Warriors converted 16 of 39 triple tries for a high 41 percent, while the Drones could only make 1 of 13 for a pathetic 7.7 percent.

With their offense running smoothly, Felix Apreku took charge underneath and snared 10 rebounds that helped South Cotabato build a huge 60-34 edge in rebounds.

Imus got 24 points from Luis Tapenio and 15 points from John Rey Sumido.

Also toting 1-0 cards were Zamboanga, Abra, Mindoro, Negros, Bataan, Iloilo, Rizal and Paranaque.

The MPBL visits the FilOIl EcoOil Center in San Juan on Thursday with a triple-bill pitting Zamboanga against Bicol at 6 p.m. and Negros against Pasay at 8 p.m.

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