MPBL: Manalang on fire from outside as Pasig outlasts Rizal

Bob Guerrero on Jul 23, 2019 08:53 AM
MPBL: Manalang on fire as Pasig edges Rizal
"I get my confidence from my teammates, the coaches, and the crowd. I really wanted to put on a show and make them proud." - Robbie Manalang

The Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors won the battle for bragging rights across Felix Avenue with a nervy 78-72 victory over the Rizal Xentro Mall Golden Coolers on Monday night in the Lakan Cup of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

A large and boisterous crowd at the Pasig Sports Complex saw a second home win in a row for the Pasigueños.

Once again it was the diminutive Fil-Californian Robbie Manalang who stole the show, draining six of 10 three-pointers for all of his 18 points. "I get my confidence from my teammates, the coaches, and the crowd. I really wanted to put on a show and make them proud," said the former Adamson standout.

Pasig improves to 3-2 in the standings while Rizal stumbles to 1-4. JV

Gayoso's team were keeping pace all throughout the first three quarters, down just 65-62 at the start of the fourth. A trey from Manalang with six minutes left put Sta. Lucia up, 73-65.

However, the Golden Coolers fought back with baskets from Mark Benitez and John Vidal to pull to within four.

The last few minutes saw both teams struggle with their shooting and in the end two free throws from Josan Nimes iced the game.

Richard Velchez's 11 points and 9 rebounds off the bench was enough to get him a share of the Best Player of the Game award with Manalang. Buenaventura Raflores had a big night for Rizal in a losing effort, contributing 18 points.

In the first game of the Monday doubleheader, the Mindoro Tamaraws raised eyebrows all across the league with a surprisingly easy 94-73 thumping of the Cebu Sharks - Casino Ethyl Alcohol.

Mindoro homegrown player Rodel Vaygan served up one of the great individual performances of the season by exploding for a career-high 30 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 blocks. He was on target from beyond the arc on six occasions. Mac Baracael had an efficient 14-point evening for the Tamaraws.

On the flip side, Rhaffy Octubre gave Cebu 18 points Mindoro is now at 2-3 while Cebu drops to below .500 at 3-4.

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