The Parañaque Patriots - Yabo Sports picked up a morale-boosting win on Tuesday, edging past Batangas City Athletics - Tanduay, 61-57, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season.
Despite enjoying the support of a partisan hometown crowd at the Batangas City Sports Center, Rum City lost at home for the first time in four games and drop to 6-4. Their three-game win streak is also now history. Amazingly the loss was against Yabo Sports, who were embarrassed by Bacoor by 53 points last week.
Jemal Vizcarra's 15 points was tops for Mike Saguiguit's team, who move up to 4-9 and see a four-game skid come to an end.
Batangas' punchless offense amassed just 21 points in the first half, including just six in the second quarter, against 28 from Parañaque.
In the third, the visitors continued to impress with treys from Josh Almajeda and Vizcarra to lead 47-37 heading into the final segment of play.
Parañaque was hot early on in the fourth and a James Patrick Abugan jumper with six minutes left gave them what looked like a solid 58-43 advantage.
But an Arvin Tolentino triple keyed a furious 12-0 run that pulled the Athletics to within three, 58-55, and ignited their home crowd. Vizcarra played the role of fireman with a lovely step-back jumper to restore a five-point cushion, but that bucket was negated by a jumper from Jhaymo Eguilos with half a minute left.
However, in a turnover-riddled contest it was only fitting that giveaways settled it. Batangas forward Jason Melano relieved Vizcarra of the ball and handed off to Jeff Viernes, but in an instant Viernes himself had the leather pilfered by Almajeda. A free throw from Vizcarra closed out the scoring. Neither club took care of the ball.
Parañaque commited 16 turnovers while Batangas City coughed up possession 21 times.
"Sabi ni coach, walang bibitaw. It was time to bounce back para ipakita na kahit papaano Kaya namin," said Vizcarra after.
In the second game the Pasay Voyagers kept minnows Nueva Ecija ForestLake at bay with a 75-69 triumph.
The game was a milestone for Voyager Dhon Reverente, who joined the MPBL's 500-point club with a 10-point, 11-rebound, and 4-assist gem of a performance. Jan Jamon's 13 points was the best for Pasay while Levi de la Cruz and Andrey Armenion led Nueva Ecija with 13 apiece.
Pasay had a commanding 54-42 lead after three quarters but the Ecijanos made a game of it with 4 triples in the final quarter, including two by De La Cruz. The second drew ForestLake to within four, 73-69 with still 36 seconds left to play. Axel Iñigo settled it for the Voyagers with two free throws.
Pasay is now at 7-5 while Nueva Ecija continues to struggle at 2-9.
In the afternoon matchup Rizal Golden Coolers - Xentro Mall delivered in the endgame to beat Bacolod Master Sardines, 89-84.
Golden Cooler Joemari Lacastesantos provided five of his 9 points in the final few possessions to help secure the win. He was responsible for the last two baskets of the game.
Bacolod squandered a 30-point effort from Jopher Custodio and a 20-point game from Paolo Javelona. Custodio was superb, but only accounted for one field goal and four points in the last quarter.
Rizal on the other hand was a model of balanced scoring, with JV Vidal leading the way with 15 points, and three other starters also reached double figures. Xentro Malls trumped Master Sardines 32-17 in bench scoring. JV Gayoso's Rizal picks up it's 3rd win in 11 outings while Bacolod slides to 4-8.