Imus, Zambo survive rivals to set up pair of MPBL KO matches
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 22, 2019 01:59 PM
Imus and Zamboanga live to fight another day in the MPBL playoffs
Imus and Zamboanga refused to follow the trend of teams being swept in the playoffs as they carved out contrasting victories last Thursday to live another day in the MPBL Datu Cup at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
The Bandera outlasted the Batangas City Athletics, 75-69, as James Castro hit 5-of-6 free throws in the last 22 seconds and denied the inaugural staging champions a sweep in the tournament.
Meanwhile, Zamboanga side survived a grueling battle with host Muntinlupa before preserving an 84-73 triumph.
In the first meeting in the playoffs, it was Allan Mangahas who showed he could dominate the game even without scoring that much.
On Thursday, it was Harold Arboleda’s turn to do such as the 6-foot-3 forward grabbed 17 rebounds and dished out 13 assists while contributing five markers.
Offensively, it was Reed Juntilla who took over for Zamboanga as the ex-pro tallied 26 points on top of eight rebounds while also getting ample support from Robin Roño, who delivered 23 points.
“Masarap manalo kapag home court ng kalaban, siguro yun ang pinaka motivation namin,” said Arboleda. “Kapag nagawa namin yan, parehas na ulit ang laban dahil mawawala na yung home court advantage.”
Zamboanga coach Raymond Valenzona said they will continue to work hard in practice to anticipate the highly-physical, highly emotional encounter that will happen in Batangas City on Monday.