Streaking Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors subdued the Bacolod Master Sardines, 87-68, late Friday, July 25, to continue their climb in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Lakan Season at the packed Pasig Sports Complex.
It was the third straight victory for the Realtors, who climbed to a 4-2 record and tied the total number of wins they posted in last Season’s Datu Cup while carrying the Pirates moniker.
Powered by Robbie Manalang with 20 points, Jeric Teng and Josan Nimes with 16 points each, and Argel Mendoza with 11, the Realtors moved ahead of earlier victors Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines and Pampanga Giant Lanterns.
Bacolod, which drew 14 points from John Paul Cauilan and 13 each from Paolo Javelona and Lloyd Castor, suffered its third straight defeat and slid to 2-5.
Zamboanga leaned on the trio of Christian Fajarito, Robin Rono and Leo de Vera to rout Rizal Xentro Mall, 95-76, in the opener and climbed to 4-3.
Fajarito wound up with 15 points and 9 rebounds, Rono with 15 points, and De Vera 12 points and 9 rebounds for Zamboanga, which pulled down Rizal to 1-5.
Pampanga, on the other hand, rode the 31-point explosion of Mark Cruz to trounce Binan Laguna Krah Heroes, 96-86, in the second game and tie Zamboanga. Binan fell to 3-5.
Michael Juico backstopped Cruz, who also grabbed 8 rebounds and issued 6 assists, with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
MPBL founder Manny Pacquiao, fresh off his bruising triumph over erstwhile unbeaten Keith Thurman in Las Vegas on July 20 (July 21 Philippine time), showed up to the delight of the thousands in attendance.
The MPBL goes to Ibalong Centrum for Recreation on Saturday, July 27, for the first home game of the Bicol Volcanoes against the Iloilo United Royals at 9 p.m. Powerhouses San Juan and Bataan tangle at 7 p.m.
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