ZAMBOANGA, PARAÑAQUE MOVE UP IN SOUTH STANDINGS WITH HUGE WINS
MANILA -- Zamboanga came alive in the fourth quarter to defeat Caloocan, 72-67, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Datu Cup at the Strike Gymnasium in Bacoor on Thursday night.
The Valientes struck back in the final frame after failing to sustain a good first quarter.
After going for a blowout in the first quarter with a 25-15 lead, Zamboanga was stifled in the next two periods, only making a combined 22 points as Caloocan took a 54-47 advantage in entering the final quarter.
The Valientes, however, came alive in the final 6:10 of the game, going on a 17-2 run to drop the Supremos for good.
Reed Juntilla made 18 points, 13 coming in the fourth quarter including seven in the pivotal 17-2 blast, 12 rebounds, eight assists, and one steal for Zamboanga, which moved back to .500 at 7-7 and into a tie with Laguna in sixth place in the Southern Division.
Paul Sanga made 20 points and two rebounds for Caloocan, which fell to 4-11.
Meanwhile, Parañaque moved to solo fifth in the South after holding off a late Bacoor City run to take an 82-81 win.
The Patriots bubbled a 10-point fourth-quarter lead but still kept the Strikers from stealing the home win.
Parañaque held a 74-64 lead with 5:58 to play in the game.
But Bacoor City went on an 11-1 run to tie the game, 75-all, with 2:52 remaining.
Harold Arboleda put the Patriots back up with a crucial basket with 2:29 left, as Gab Banal failed to force another deadlock with only a split from the free throw line in the next play.
Mac Montilla then delivered a dagger triple with 1:48 left for an 80-76 lead.
Banal still kept the Strikers in the game with a basket with 20 seconds left, but Robin Roño iced the game for the Patriots with two free throws.
Roño led Parañaque, which zoomed to 8-7, with 25 points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
Montilla chipped in 16 markers, one board, and one dime.
Banal fired 24 markers, nine caroms, eight dimes, and one block for Bacoor City, which fell to 8-6, opening the door for idle Batangas City to tie the former for third place in the South. (PNA)
Photo from Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League/FOX Sports Philippines