ZAMBOANGA CITY – Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines prevailed over General Santos City’s final assault to win the OKbET-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Presented by Xtreme on Tuesday night at the people-filled Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum here in Zambaanga City by a score of 75-73. The game was part of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League
When there was less than four minutes left in the game, Zamboanga was up by eight points, 73-65, but GenSan charged right back and cut the lead to 75-73 thanks to the stellar play of guards Mark Cruz and Nico Elorde.
GenSan, which was trailing by as much as 12-29 in the second quarter, even had the opportunity to send the game into overtime. However, Elorde and Dhan Reverente both missed probable game-tying jumpers in the last 12 seconds, which allowed Zamboanga to tally its 14th victory against three losses in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 22-team tournament. Zamboanga is now in first place.
GenSan dropped to 12-6, which means that Zamboanga is the only team that is guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals.
Other games saw Batangas subjugate Muntinlupa, 85-81, and Sarangani wallop Manila, 74-55.
In order to improve their record to 16-2, Batangas City Embassy Chill relied heavily on Cedrick Ablaza, Levi Hernandez, and Jeremy Cruz. In addition to Jeremy Cruz’s 12 points and Hernandez’s 18 points, Ablaza’s performance included 17 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. Hernandez led the team in scoring with 18 points.
Despite the efforts of Domark Matillano, who finished with 24 points and seven rebounds, and Harold Arboleda, who finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, Muntinlupa fell to a record of 3-14.
The Warriors had the opportunity to extend the game, but with 12 seconds left on the clock, Elorde and Dhan Reverente both missed jump shots that might have tied the score.
Jaycee Marcelino, who scored 22 points for Zamboanga and made 9 of 10 field goal attempts, emerged as the team’s new hero after she pulled down 7 rebounds and drilled in 9 field goal attempts. Jhaps Bautista contributed 12 points to the team’s victory, which was led by Marcelino.
Again, Nico Elorde was the offensive leader for GenSan with 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Cruz and Reverente followed him with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
GenSan’s homegrown actor Gerald Anderson contributed eight points to the team’s total.
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