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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Nueva Ecija streaks to 12th win; Pampanga, GenSan trip rivals

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Unbeaten Nueva Ecija cruised to win No. 12 with a 79-65 thumping of Bataan on Saturday in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) at the Caloocan Sports Complex.

Will McAloney is one of the pillars of the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards.

The Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards are a lock for a quarterfinal spot in the North division, where their closest pursuers are the Bataan Risers, who tote a 7-2 slate.

Pampanga climbed to 6-4, also in the North, following an 88-54 demolition of Mindoro in the opener.

GenSan trounced Caloocan, 71-62, in the nightcap to rev up its quarterfinal drive in the South division with an even 5-5 record in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 22-team tournament.

At least 2-deep in all positions, the Rice Vanguards have little trouble snapping the Risers’ six-game winning streak as they led by as many as 24 points, 56-34, with 7:25 to go in the third quarter.

Michael Juico led Nueva Ecija with 15 points plus 4 rebounds, followed by John Bryon Villarias with 13 points.

Bataan, which missed the services of big man Arvie Bringas, got 14 points and 7 rebounds from Jamil Gabawan and 12 points from James Darwin Castro.

The GenSan Warriors also have little trouble pulling down the Caloocan Excellence to a 2-5 card.

Mark Cruz came through with 14 points, 5 steals and 4 rebounds, Nico Elorde contributed 13 points plus 6 rebounds and Dhon Reverente posted 13 points plus 11 rebounds.

Powered by homegrown icon Archie Concepcion’s 22 points, Pampanga zoomed ahead by 35 points, 86-51, as it relegated Mindoro to the cellar at 1-10.


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