Paranaque protects turf, Bulacan shares second spot
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 11, 2018 11:26 AM
Paranaque leaned on its vaunted defense to win on its home court while Bulacan climbed to a share of the second spot.
Protecting a one-point lead, Jemal Vizcarra and Harold Arboleda provided the much-needed defensive stops with under 30 seconds remaining to help home team Paranaque escape with a 79-77 win over upset-conscious Imus Bandera late Saturday in the 2018 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Anta Rajah Cup at the Olivares College Gym.
Juneric Baloria nailed the go-ahead triple to put the Patriots on top, 78-77, with just 1:42 left in the game. Both teams exchanged a couple of missed shots in the ensuing plays before Imus got a chance to regain the lead after Chester Tolomia stole the ball on a bad pass by Baloria with 27 seconds left.
Orly Daroya tried to put up a shot but was erased by Vizcarra. Daroya got the offensive board for another attempt but was denied by Arboleda. Ryusei Koga, who made the game-winning layup on traffic in Paranaque’s road win over Bataan the last time out, cleared the board before sinking one of two free throws to give the Patriots a two-point cushion with 17 seconds remaining.
Chestern Melencio and Tolomia were able to get looks to force an overtime but missed on both occasions as time expired.
The Patriots evened their record to 4-4 tied with Navotas at sixth to seventh spots while sending Imus to its sixth defeat in eight outings.
Vizcarra scored 16 points, Kog had 15 markers while Arboleda finished with 12 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and two blocks for the Patriots.
Melencio registered 21 points while Daroya and Jeffrey Tajonera had nine markers each for the Bandera.
Meanwhile, JR Taganas led the Bulacan Kuyas with 19 points in a 92-83 drubbing of Valenzuela to tie their victim and idle Quezon City at second to fourth spots with 5-3 cards.
Stephen Siruma had 17 points while Jerome Villanueva and Jovit Dela Cruz finished with 13 and 12 markers, respectively, for the Kuyas.
National University product Jeff Javillonar posted 23 points while RJ Argamino got 15 markers for the Classic.