Manila, Cebu roll over separate opponents in MPBL

ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 28, 2018 02:25 PM
Manila, Cebu roll over separate opponents in MPBL
Manila silenced Zamboanga's home crowd to protect its place near the top of the standings

Manila survived a gutsy Zamboanga side even as Cebu stayed tough in the endgame to outlast Marikina in a pair of exciting games in the 2018 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup last Saturday at the Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum in Zamboanga. 

With a throng of Tsabakanos all excited to support the Valientes, the host team was able to mount a rally, but fell short against the Manila Stars, who salvaged a 60-59 win in the main game.

Reil Cervantes led the Stars with 21 points, including a clutch three-point basket down the stretch that helped stave off the Valientes’ rally on their way to picking up their 10th win in 12 games.

Manila’s victory put itself in solid position in the tough northern division of this tournamen. The Stars joined the San Juan Knights in a share of second to third places.

The Stars squandered a 15-point lead in the earlygoing and watched the Valientes get back into the game behind the solid play of old reliables Reed Juntilla and Jonathan Parreno, who carried the fight for the host team.

But the Stars were able to get it done in the endgame as they threw a solid defense in Zamboanga’s last offensive thrust, concentrated on stopping Juntilla, who couldn’t extricate from the defense of Aris Dionisio, a taller, but equally faster player, in the final play.

Jomari Lacastesantos, a reserve guard from Zamboanga, was forced to take it to the hoop with time running out, but lost control of his footing, allowing Manila to escape with the win.

Unlike Zamboanga, Cebu was able to get it done down the stretch as Patrick Cabahug, the Sharks’ main man on offense, hit the crucial baskets needed in towing his team to a 78-74 triumph over the Marikina Shoemasters.

Cabahug scored his team’s last five points. His go-ahead triple with 56 seconds left put the Sharks up front, 76-74, and after the Shoemasters failed on the next offensive trip, the deadshot swingman essayed the hero’s role by knocking down a tough fall away jumper that served as the marginal basket for Cebu, which won for the third straight time and improved to 4-8.

Marikina absorbed its fifth straight setback and dropped to a 4-8 card as well. 

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