MPBL: Roño and Asistio spur undermanned Zamboanga to victory over Basilan
Bob Guerrero on Oct 06, 2019 09:57 AM
Robin Roño scored 21 of his 29 points in the first half. (FILE PHOTO)
Zamboanga Family's Band Sardines bucked the absence of key players to thwart the Basilan Steel - Jumbo Plastic 83-78 in Saturday night play at the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season.
The slate of three games were held at the San Andres Gym in Manila, a neutral venue for all three contests.
Zamboanga were without new signing Alvin Pasaol because of a previous commitment, and Harold Arboleda and Leo De Vera due to injury. But that didn't stop the Zamboangenos from gutting out an impressive victory to claim bragging rights over Grande Santa Cruz island.
Family's Brand led 47-36 at the half, with guard Robin Roño contributing an incredible 21 points in the first 20 minutes.
Basilan picked up the pace in the third quarter with production from Hesed Gabo as Family's Brand struggled with their shooting. The fourth quarter began with the Zamboanga lead whittled to just 2, 60-58.
In the final period Anton Asistio showed why he was plucked from the Bataan Risers by firing in 10 of his 16 points to help settle matters. Gabo also thrived in the fourth but he lacked support from his team mates.
Down 82-76 with under a minute to go, Basilan stole the ball in the backcourt. Japs Bautista got possession but somehow muffed a wide-open point-blank layup.
That miss proved to be Basilan's death knell, and they drop to 9-8. Gabo was superb for the Mindanao team with 20 points and 12 assists.
Leading all scorers was Roño, who ended up with 29 as Zamboanga improves to 10-8.
Nueva Ecija 84 - 71 Rizal
In the third game the new-look Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards ended a 7-game losing streak to defeat the Rizal Xentro Malls Golden Coolers 84-71.
New Rice Vanguard coach Charles Tiu got solid shifts from fresh signings Jai Reyes, Vince Tolentino and James Martinez but it was old reliable Levi De la Cruz who picked up best player of the game honors with 14 points, all coming in the second half.
Rizal took a 35-33 halftime lead, with Mark Benitez leading the scoring with 9 points from three triples. The Novo Ecijanos stormed ahead in the third with a 12-2 opening salvo marshalled by Jai Reyes. There were big contributions by Vince Tolentino and de la Cruz in the balance of the period as The Rice Vanguards burned the Xentro Mall defense for 31 points to take a 64 - 52 cushion heading into the last segment.
In the final period Rizal battled feverishly to keep pace with Nueva Ecija. RJ Miraflores knocked in back-to-back triples to pull to within 9, 76-67 with 3 minutes left. But in the last 2 minutes Tolentino's eye-catching reverse layup and-1 for an 81-67 Ecijano lead all but assured the win.
Miraflores' 21 points led all scorers but Rizal falls to 3-10 while Nueva Ecija gets their third win in 15 games this season.
GenSan 78 - 67 Parañaque
In the opener, the Gensan Warriors - Burlington strolled past the Paranaque Patriots - Yabo Sports 78-67.
Burlington was a model of balanced scoring, with Pamboy Raymundo leading the way with 13 points, Jeramar Cabanag with 10, Al Carlos with 9, and 11 other players also getting on the scoresheet.
Gensan were up 61-42 at the end of the third before taking their foot off the pedal and allowing Yabo Sports to outscore them in the final period.
Jemal Vizcarra was the best Patriots points-getter with 19.
The Warriors go to 12-5 and stay within striking distance of South Division second-placer Bacoor. Paranaque remain outside the North Division playoff zone at 6-11.