Shorthanded Bataan stumbles against Batangas at home while Manila turns away a stubborn Makati.

Bob Guerrero on Sep 15, 2019 08:16 AM
MPBL: Batangas edges Bataan, Manila denies Makati
Batangas stays in the playoff picture with a hard-earned win over Bataan.

The Batangas Athletics - Tanduay disposed of the Bataan Risers - Camaya Coast 73-69 while the Manila Stars - Frontrow fended off rival Makati Super Crunch in the Saturday night games of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season.

The crowd at the Bataan People's Center in Balanga saw their hometown team fight hard despite only dressing 8 players for the game. The club is undergoing a change in management and Camaya Coast has come in as the lead sponsor.

Jason Melano copped player of the game honors with 16 points and 5 rebounds for Tanduay.

Batangas led 39-33 at the half. In the third period the Risers could not make any headway as the fourth quarter started with the visitors up 58-52. In the fourth quarter a gallant Bataan side chipped away at the lead, with back-to-back baskets by Ryan Batino pulling Bataan to within 2, 63-61 with 4 minutes to go.

A minute later it was Byron Villarias giving Bataan a one-possession deficit with a huge three-pointer for 67-64. When he laid the ball in 2 plays later the lead was cut to 67-66.

Down 71-69 with half a minute to go however, Camaya Coast ran two ill-advised plays in the clutch, the first a forced shot by Jose Mari Presibtero and another a rushed triple attempt by Gio Espuelas that both missed badly, sealing their fate. Villarias' team-high 26-point harvest was squandered by Bataan.

Batangas stays in 4th in the South Division with an 8-4 card while Bataan falls below .500 at 6-7.


In the first game of the day the Manila Stars - Frontrow used a hellacious fourth quarter surge to speed past Makati Super Crunch 64-56.

Gabby Espinas led Frontrow in this low-scoring battle of North Division titans with 11 points.

Coming from a 26-25 halftime lead, Super Crunch looked determined to win the battle for bragging rights across Zobel Roxas St., as Makati delivered a 21-point third quarter bannered by hot shooting from Juneric Baloria and Jeckster Apinan. With ten minutes left, Makati led 47-37 but  in the final segment the tide turned decisively in Manila's favor. Aris Dionisio's triple with just under 5 minutes remaining ignited a 15-0 burst that gave Manila a 61-54 lead with 11 ticks left. Chris Bitoon's late three-bomb was the exclamation point to the comeback win.

Makati were led in scoring by Baloria's 14 points but Cholo Villanueva's team will rue their 23 turnovers, 7 more than Manila.

Frontrow stays hot on the heels of league-leading San Juan at 11-2 while Makati are just behind at 10-3.


In the early evening game the Marikina Shoemasters won only their second win of the season against Navotas Uni-Pak Sardines, 88-80.

Yves Sazon led Marikina with 23 points but JJ Espanola's 17 points and 4 rebounds earned him the best player of the game nod.

Navotas loses again a few days after a heartbreaking double OT setback to the Bulacan Kuyas. Marikina were in command at the half 46-32. But in the third period Jhong Bondoc and Allan Evangelista helped trim the lead to a more manageable 68-58. On five different occasions Navotas got the lead down to just 5 in the fourth quarter but every time Marikina slammed the door on them. Espanola had the hot hand for Marikina in the endgame with 10 of his 17 points in the fourth. None was bigger than a trey with 27 seconds left that completed the scoring and secured the win.

Marikina coach Elvis Tolentino sees his team go to 2-12 while Navotas skids to 3-9.

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