MANILA, Philippines – Powerhouse Nueva Ecija moved closer to completing a historic sweep with a 77-66 victory over Pasig on Wednesday in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season Presented by Xtreme at the Laguna Sports Complex in Sta. Laguna. The game took place at the Laguna Sports Complex in Sta. Laguna. Cruz.
The Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards have won 20 consecutive games in a row and only need a victory over the Batangas City Embassy Chill Athletics on October 7 to finish a dominant run in the single round-robin elimination round of the 22-team tournament they are competing in.
Nueva Ecija, led by Michael Mabulac and Michael Juico, was able to pull away from Pasig and win 59-46, bringing their record against Pasig’s Realtors to 13-6.
Mabulac finished with 18 points, four rebounds, and four assists, while Juico contributed 15 points, seven assists, and four rebounds for Coach Jerson Cabiltes’ charges. Juico also contributed four rebounds.
Pasig was able to seize the lead at 25-17 because to the lackluster performance of Nueva Ecija’s running game, which only resulted in three points for the Realtors. Ryan Paule Costelo, Robbie Manalang, and Carlo Lastimosa each contributed 15 points for the Realtors. Carlo Lastimosa scored 10 points.
In other games, the Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines defeated the Quezon City MG Cars by a score of 96 to 71, and the Muntinlupa Cagers defeated the Quezon City MG Cars by a score of 82 to 67.
In the span of time between the third and fourth quarters, Zamboanga scored 20 points, with nine of those points coming from Jayvee Marcelino. As a result, they defeated Quezon City by a score of 85-58, giving them their 15th win against only three defeats.
In the end, Jaycee Marcelino contributed 15 points, eight rebounds, and three assists to complement the 18 points, three assists, and three steals that were contributed by his twin brother Jayvee Marcelino.
Other significant players for Zamboanga included Reden Celda, who scored 12 points and grabbed three rebounds; Chris Dumapig, who scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds; and Chito Jaime, who scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds.
Jerick Nacpil recorded a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds for Quezon City, who finished with a record of 8-10.
John Cantimbuhan Jr.’s 22 points and Domark Matillano’s 13 helped Muntinlupa improve to 4-14 and move to within striking distance of Imus, which now sits in eighth place in the South division with a record of 5-13. The final score for Laguna was 3-15.
With a score of 5-13, Imus is currently in ninth place.
On Thursday, the Manila Professional Basketball League will play at the Batangas City Coliseum. Games on tap are San Juan-Rizal at 5 p.m., Bacolod-Makati at 7 p.m. & Caloocan vs Batangas at 9 p.m.
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