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Quezon City 5 ties 2 others for MPBL lead

Muntinlupa's Felix Apreku (left) and Caloocan's Jess Mar Villahermoso battle for a rebound  (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Muntinlupa’s Felix Apreku (left) and Caloocan’s Jess Mar Villahermoso battle for a rebound (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

By Jerome Lagunzad

Games Today
(Valenzuela Dome)
7 p.m. – Bulacan vs Parañaque
9 p.m. – Bataan vs Valenzuela

Banking on a ferocious start, host Quezon City turned back visiting Imus City, 84-75, on Tuesday night to gain a share of the lead in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Anta Rajah Cup at the JCSGO gym in Cubao.

The Capitals, wasting no little time, jumped the gun on the flat-footed Bandera behind a blinding 27-9 attack then took control throughout on the way to their second straight win, tying Batangas Athletics and Navotas Clutch on top in the process.

Former Lyceum stalwart Jay Collado continued his fine play with 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench while ex-La Salle big man Peejay Barua added 15 points to lead the way for Quezon City in the event organized by Sen. Manny Pacquiao with former PBA MVP Kenneth Duremdes.

Chestern Melencio had 18 points while former University of Sto. Tomas stalwart Jamil Sheriff added 12 points in a losing effort for Imus City, which remained winless after two starts.

Muntinlupa also gained a fair share of the spotlight by compounding the early woes of free-falling Caloocan, 89-76.

Former pro Chito Jaime and Dave Moralde sizzled with 23 points apiece while Allan Mangahas (10 points and 12 assists) and Felix Apreku (11 points and 11 rebounds) finished with double-doubles for the Cagers, who racked up their second straight win in three starts, good for solo fourth spot.

Ralph Salcedo fired away 18 points while Ronald Roy and James Mangahas combined for 24 points that all went down the drain as the Supremos suffered their third straight loss, keeping down at the cellar of the 10-team field.

The Cagers turned a tight battle into a one-sided affair behind a big onslaught in the second quarter for a 47-36 buffer at the break. The Supremos tried hard to fight back but couldn’t make any headway in the second half.

Action resumes tonight at the Valenzuela Dome, with the Classic out to make it two in a row in their 9 p.m. showdown with visiting Bataan Defenders who are still looking for their breakthrough victory on their third try.

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