Val Acuna torches the Pasay defense as a reenergized Valenzuela franchise wins again.

Bob Guerrero on Nov 08, 2019 09:12 AM
 MPBL: Acuna sizzles as Valenzuela rips Pasay
"Nakaka-taas ng kumpiyansa namin noong nanalo kami over Davao. Sabi ng mga coaches taasan pa ang level ngayon kase home court," - Val Acuna (FILE PHOTO)

Sporting a new name, Valenzuela City Carga Backload Solution thrilled their home crowd at the Valenzuela City Astrodome with a 77-61 triumph over the Pasay Voyagers in Thursday night's featured joust at the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season.

Carga Backload Solution shooting forward Val Acuna had a sensational evening, providing 27 points and draining five of his seven three-point attempts to lead all scorers and earn the best player of the game award.

"Nakaka-taas ng kumpiyansa namin noong nanalo kami over Davao. Sabi ng mga coaches taasan pa ang level ngayon kase home court," said the sweet-shooting forward after the game.

Valenzuela wins back-to-back games and has stormed back into the playoff race with a 9-12 card.

Acuna started briskly with 13 first quarter points as the home team took a 19-18 lead after ten minutes. Despite 10 first half points from Voyager Axel Inigo, Carga Backload Solution were in front at halftime, 36-29.

In the third period Dhon Reverente kept up the pressure for the Voyagers on the offensive end but Acuna did the same, scoring in every way imaginable as Val City entered the fouth period leading 63-51.

In the final ten minutes Paolo Hubalde found his rhythm with three straight baskets with two minutes to go. That gave the home side a 75-59 lead, essentially clinching the win.

Pasay loses a third game in a row to go to 12-9.

The lloilo United Royals prevailed in the battle of bragging rights across the Guimaras strait as they disposed of Bacolod Master Sardines, 89 to 81 in the early evening encounter.

Richard Escoto topscored for the Royals with 22 points and 7 rebounds, knocking in all three of his three-point attempts and going 8 of 10 from the field overall. His team is now sporting an 11-8 slate.

Iloilo started strong with JR Parker scoring 8 points as Iloilo took a 24-17 first quarter lead. The Royals weathered torrid 3-point shooting from Bacolod to lead 42-37 at the half.

Master Sardines went ice cold on the offensive side to start the third as United served up a 13-2 run with Parker and Richard Escoto leading the charge. Bacolod battled back with production from Jopher Custodio but the Ilonggos had the advantage 64-50 at the end of the third, finishing the period in style with an Escoto three-bomb off the glass.

Custodio buried three treys in the fourth quarter to pull Bacolod to within 7, 72-65 halfway through the final stanza. But Escoto hit a big triple to put lloilo up 81-71 with just under three minutes to go and a minute later Al Tamsi replicated the feat for an 84-74 Iloilo cushion with two minutes left, snuffing out any chance of a Negrense uprising.

Custodio was Bacolod's top dog with 22 points but they are drifting away from the South Division playoff picture at 6-13.

In the afternoon game, Bicol Volcanoes LCC Stores mowed down the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards 70-58 to level their mark at 11-11.

Volcano Alwin Alday's 13 points earned him best player of the game honors.

Bicol took a 35-19 lead into the dressing room thanks to Jonathan Aldave's nine points in the second quarter.

In the third JP Sarao piled on 14 points for the Novo Ecijanos as they twice got to within eight of Bicol.

But the teams entered the fourth with LCC Stores up, 55-45. The Volcanoes burst out of the gates in the final quarter with a 10-3 spurt but the Vanguards chipped away at the lead and Adrian Celada trimmed the deficit to 65-58 with two minutes left. But a dagger triple from Ronjay Buenafe made it 70-58 with a minute to go, and Bicol had their win.

Sarao's 14 points was best for the Nueva Ecija roster but the team stumbles anew to go 5-14. Charles Tiu's side missed 20 of their 21 three-point attempts in the game.

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