MPBL: Vizcarra and Lucente team up as Parañaque downs Navotas

Bob Guerrero on Jul 11, 2019 10:22 AM
MPBL: Vizcarra-Lucente tandem leads Parañaque past Navotas
Jemal Vizcarra finished with 20 points to help lead Parañaque to a 82-71 win over Navotas (FILE PHOTO)

Parañaque Yabo Sports thrilled their loyal fans at the Olivarez College in Parañaque with an 82-71 victory over Navotas Uni-Pak Sardines on Wednesday at the Maharlika Piliipinas Basketball League Lakan Cup.

Parañaque set the tone with a fast start, taking a 29-12 lead in the first quarter and would continue that trend into the third period.

Navotas had little answer for Yabo Sports center Kervin Lucente as the big man was so effective in the paint that as early as four minutes into the third quarter, he already registered a double-double on points and rebounds. Lucente finished with 11 points and 10 boards.

Back-to-back baskets by Kojak Melegrito brought Navotas to within nine, 71-62 with six minutes left in the fourth, but on the very next play the burly enforcer clotheslined Patriot Kieth Pido in the face, drawing blood.

Melegrito was called for an unsportsmanlike and since he was already slapped a technical earlier he was ejected by the game officials.

Three plays later a stray cat entered the playing court, briefly interrupting play to the amusement of the crowd.

Navotas battled to cut the lead to four points, 73-69, but Jemal Vizcarra's dagger three with two minutes to go gave the home team the breathing room they craved at 79-71.

Vizcarra, who finished with 20 points, shared the player of the game prize with Lucente.

"Keep working hard lang kami kaya ganyan ang nangyari," said Lucente as the Patriots ended a three-game losing streak and rose up to 2-3 in the standings while Navotas slipped to 1-2.

In the second matchup of the day, defending champs San Juan Knights Go For Gold vanquished Bacolod Master Sardines, 95-71.

The game was still in the balance at 66-58 in favor of San Juan at the end of the third. But the Knights squad turned on the heat in the final quarter to complete the rout.

Player of the game Jhonard Clarito was a statistical monster for San Juan, amassing 16 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 4 blocks while John Wilson topscored for the Knights with 22 point.

Jopher Custodio was the leading contributor for the Negrenses with 16.

The champs stay perfect with a 3-0 slate while Bacolod is now sporting a 2-2 card.

In a battle of expansion squads, the Iloilo United Royals survived a stubborn Nueva Ecija MiGuard squad to hack out a 92-90 win.

The Ilonggos controlled the game for the first three quarters and looked set to win leading 91 - 80 with four minutes to go.

However, the Ecijanos had other plans as Marlon Monte led a 10-0 run to pull within one. A big trey by Andrian Celada was key to the resurgence and JR Cawaling could have won the game for Nueva Ecija in the last few seconds, but his stepback jumper missed.

There was a heated battle for the rebound, and after a seven-minute delay the refs gave Jerwyn Gaco and Francis Tamsi offsetting unsportsmanlike fouls and sent Aaron Jeruta of Iloilo to the line for free throws for a regular foul. With .5 seconds the guard made the first and appeared to intentionally miss the second to deny Nueva Ecija a realistic chance to shoot.

Rey Publico of Iloilo got the player of the game award with 16 points and 5 rebounds. Iloilo improved to 3-1 while Nueva Ecija slumped to 1-3.

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