MPBL: Navotas, Batangas claim back-to-back victories

MPBL: Navotas, Batangas claim back-to-back victories
Navotas and Batangas share the lead after winning back-to-back games.

Navotas and Batangas claimed back-to-back victories Saturday night against their respective rivals for a share of the lead in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Anta Rajah Cup at the Batangas City Coliseum.

The Athletics rode on their third quarter explosion to dictate the tempo of the match and turn back Gary David-led Defenders, 88-73, to the delight of their home crowd.

Batangas turned a tight 37-36 contest at halftime into an 11-point advantage heading into the payoff period thanks to a 29-point third quarter spurt for their second win in as many outings.

The Athletics had seven players in double figures with Val Acuna scoring 13 points to lead the home team. Adrian Santos, Moncrief Rogado and Paul Varilla had 11 each while Jhaymo Eguilos finished with a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds while Lester Alvarez and Teytey Teodoro each chipped in with 10 markers for Batangas, which spoiled the 32-point outing of ex-pro Gary David for the Defenders.

Meanwhile, Navotas leaned on the clutch jumper by Rey Publico with 56 seconds left to repel the Bulacan Kuyas, 77-76, in overtime to remain unbeaten in two games.

Publico, who finished with eight points, drilled the basket to give the Cluth enough cushion, 77-73, to seal the win after Marlon Monte swished a triple for the Kuyas with two ticks left in overtime.

Gino Jumao-as led Navotas with 16 points and six rebounds, Chester Saldua had 14 while Ron Dennison and JP Calvo got 13 and 12 markers, respectively, for Navotas.

Jovit Dela Cruz had 15 points for Bulacan.

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