By Jerome Lagunzad
(Bataan People’s Center)
7 p.m. – Valenzuela vs Muntinlupa
9 p.m. – Bataan vs Parañaque
Valenzuela and Muntinlupa square off tonight at the Bataan People’s Center in Balanga City, with the winner earning the chance to gain a share of the second spot in the 2018 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Anta Rajah Cup.
The Valenzuela Classic, fresh from an 80-75 victory over the Parañaque Patriots last Thursday, are slightly favored in their 7 p.m. showdown with the Cagers.
The Cagers are eager to bounce back from an 82-77 loss to Batangas City Athletics last week in the event organized by Sen. Manny Pacquiao with former PBA MVP Kenneth Duremdes as commissioner.
Undersized big man Jeff Javillonar, still on a high following a 23-point, 11-rebound showing the last time out, is expected to team up anew with former pro Paolo Hubalde and guard Rockey Acidre in leading the charge of Valenzuela, handled by former Kia tactician Chris Gavina.
The Cagers, however, are determined to rediscover their winning ways as they pin their hopes on former pros Chito Jaime and Allan Mangahas, who combined for 35 points, 16 rebounds and five assists in their painful loss to the pacesetting Athletics.
Clashing in the nightcap at 9 p.m. are host Bataan Defenders and the struggling Patriots.
The Defenders, foiled on their home floor by Caloocan Supremos, 76-69, last month, are eager to redeem themselves as they try to sustain their resurgence after winning their last two matches, including a 96-88 victory over Navotas Clutch last week.
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