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Patriots beat Cebu, gain share of lead

By Jerome Lagunzad

Games Today
(Blue Eagle gym)
7 p.m. – Mandaluyong vs Pasig
9 p.m. – Quezon City vs Gen. Santos City

Former pro Harold Arboleda put on a flawless shooting as host Parañaque City turned back Cebu City, 81-73, on Tuesday night for its second straight victory in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Anta Datu Cup at the Olivarez Gym.

The 6-foot-2 Arboleda, who had a brief stint with NLEX in the pro ranks, sizzled with a career-high 26 points, making all of his seven attempts, including five triples, on top of 11 rebounds and six assists as the Patriots gained a share of the South Division lead.

San Beda product Ryusei Koga added 21 points, spiked by three triples, while backup guard Robin Roño tallied seven points and five rebounds for Parañaque, which trailed by as many as 15 points early on but turned things around in the second quarter before it outplayed Cebu City in the decisive half.

Also getting the job done were the Pampanga Lanterns, who survived the Bacoor Strikers, 81-80, earlier.

Juneric Baloria, back in his former team’s homecourt, sizzled with 24 points, highlighted by three triples, while unheralded Karlo Pangilinan added 12 points as the Lanterns overcame the absence of former pro Jimbo Aquino and Michael Juico for their breakthrough victory.

Forward Gab Banal finished with 21 points and eight rebounds while Chris Sumalinog added 17 points and Mikee Reyes had 16 points for the Strikers, who led by as many as 10 points in the first period but could not sustain their fiery start, leading to their first loss after two matches.

Journeyman Patrick Cabahug also waxed hot with 29 points while Far Eastern University stalwart Cesar Catli added 16 points that all went for naught with the Sharks’ second consecutive setback.