Bataan, San Juan in contrasting MPBL wins to gain share of lead
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 13, 2018 03:15 PM
Bataan and San Juan defended their positions atop the leaderboard of the Northern Division in the 2018 MPBL Anta-Datu Cup
Bataan and San Juan, two favorites in the 2018 Maharlika Pilipinas Anta-Datu Cup, carved out contrasting wins to forge a share of the lead in the Northern Division last Wednesday at the People’s Center in Balanga.
The Risers survived an error-prone first half then turned to old reliables – ex-pros Gary David, Byron Villarias, and Pamboy Raymundo – in towing their team to a hard-earned 59-55 triumph over the Valenzuela Classic.
San Juan, on the other hand, had an easier time disposing of its rival Pasig, 87-60, to pick up its second straight win after suffering its first loss against Muntinlupa.
Former PBA champion and multiple-time scoring king Mac Cardona went a rebound shy from posting a double-double performance as he came away with 15 points and nine rebounds, propelling the Knights to their seventh win in eight matches.
The Knights, along with the Manila Stars and the Risers, all carry 7-1 win-loss slates to share the lead in the Northern Division of this tournament.
David, the local hero and many-time scoring champion in the PBA, finished with 16 markers, the same output produced by Villarias.
Raymundo also stepped up with 13 markers, including two crucial get away moves down the stretch. His last basket put his team ahead, 54-50, with still 1:37 left.
Floyd Dedicatoria split his charities in the next play to keep the fight going for the struggling Valenzuela squad, but Vilarias answered back with a layup of his own to shove the Risers on safer grounds, 1:05 left.
The loss was the sixth in eight games for the Classic who have now lost four in a row.
Despite winning seven in a row, Bataan coach Jojo Lastimosa was far from satisfied.
“We turned the ball over so many times in the first half and those turnovers were unforced turnovers. We have nobody to blame but us,” said Lastimosa.
Lastimosa was referring to the 15 turnovers his squad committed in the first half and the Risers had to struggle all game long before pulling off a win against the Classic.