By Kristel Satumbaga
Bataan Risers and Manila Stars outlasted their opponents on Tuesday in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup at the Bataan People’s Center.
The Risers survived the late rally of the Zamboanga Valientes-Family’s Brand Sardines, 76-74, while the Stars turned back the Rizal Crusaders, 71-70.
It was the Risers’ 16th win in 18 matches to remain on top of the North Division as they held on to their 76-71 lead in the final 8 ticks after John Bryron Villarias made a layup.
A triple from Robin Rono in the last three seconds briefly gave life to the Valientes, but they found out that time was not on their side.
John Raymundo led the Risers with 15 points while Alfred Batino added 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The Valientes dropped to 7-11 in the South Division.
Meanwhile, the Stars erased a 70-67 deficit by silencing the Crusaders in the last 1:18 to post their 16th win against three losses.
Marvin Hayes and Reil Cervantes drained back-to-back jumpers to seal the win for the Stars.
Aristotle Dionisio paced the Stars with 20 points and 14 rebounds, Hayes had 12 boards and Cervantes finished with 15 points.
The Crusaders absorbed their third straight loss for a 5-13 mark.