No upsets in first day of MPBL playoffs
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 13, 2019 04:11 PM
Bataan and Manila lived up to their billing as top-seeded teams for the MPBL playoffs
Bataan brought down Caloocan in a one sided game while Manila edged Bulacan to take the head start in the MPBL playoffs best-of-three quarterfinals series last Tuesday.
The top-seeded Risers ripped the Supremos, 91-71, at home and moved a win away from notching a Final Four seat in the tough northern division of this tournament.
Two players ended up with double-double performances while three others tallied double figures for Bataan, a team which barely made it to the playoffs in the inaugural staging of the tournament but has topped the elimination round this season.
Alfred Batino finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds while veteran guard Pamboy Raymundo came away with 11 markers on top of 11 assists for the Risers of head coach Jojo Lastimosa.
Byron Villarias led Bataaan’s production with 18 points followed by Gab Dagangon, who had 15.
Also tallying double-digit output was Russel Escoto with 11 points.
If Bataan won by a breeze, Manila, the fourth-seeded team in the north, had to struggle before winning over No.5 ranked Bulacan, 69-65.
The Stars, a team known for its firepower, worked double time on defense — and the target was to shackle the Kuyas’ high-scoring guards, James Martinez and Jeric Canada.
Both players were held scoreless by the airtight defense of the Stars, who are also a win away from making the semifinal round of the northern division.