Quezon Province weathered off Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines’ final assault and prevailed, 70-66, on Monday in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season at the packed Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City. Earlier, Pasig City MCW Sports drubbed Valenzuela XUR Homes Realty Inc., 85-62, while Bacolod routed Laguna Krah Asia, 84-68.
With the Quezon Huskers ahead, 58-46, Jaycee Marcelino found his mark and the Zamboanguenos bunched 12 points to knot the count at 58 with still 3 minutes and 24 seconds to go.
The Huskers, however, found saviors in Alfrancis Tamsi, who canned back-to-back triples, and Robin Rono, who added one after Judel Fuentes had pushed Zamboanga closer, 62-64, with a 4-point play.
Marcelino, the reigning league MVP, drove in as Zamboanga threatened at 64-67, only for Tamsi to knock in a floater and Rono to split his two free throws, 70-64, sealing Quezon’s 17th win against 6 losses.
Tamsi wound up with 19 points, including 5 triples, while Rono, formerly of Zamboanga, contributed 12 points, laced with 3 triples, plus 4 rebounds and 4 steals.
Zamboanga dropped to 16-7 despite Marcelino’s 22-point, 5-rebound, 4-steal, 3-assist effort, Fuentes’ 12 points and Joseph Gabayni’s 11.