Streaking Manila pounced on depleted Zamboanga and hacked out an 87-79 victory on Tuesday in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season presented by Xtreme at the Paco Arena.
Banking on the solid plays of Ronnie Matias, Nat Consejo, Dan Sara, Marvin Lee and Joaquin Mariano, the Manila David Roxas Construction Stars pulled away at 81-65 en route to their fourth straight win and an even 5-5 slate in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 22-team tournament.
Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines threatened for the last time at 77-83 on back-to-back triples by Reden Celda and Ralph Tansingco, but Consenjo completed a 3-point play to seal the outcome that handed Zamboanga its first loss in nine starts.
Consejo posted 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists to earn best player honors even as Matias flashed vintage form with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists.
Lee wound up with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, Sara tallied 15 points and 7 rebounds and Mariano 12 points and 3 rebounds.
Jayvee Marcelino, working overtime sans his twin brother Jaycee, notched 19 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals for Zamboanga, which also missed the services of Mon Mabayo, Jeff Comia and big men Jhyamo Eguilos and Alfie Grijaldo.
In addition, Med Salim did not play while veteran Chito Jaime was only fielded for less than six minutes by Zamboanga Coach Vic Ycasiano.
Celda finished with 12 points and Tansingco 11.
Valenzuela XUR Homes Realty Inc. trounced GenSan, 80-69, to climb to 5-6.
High-flyer Jaymar Gimpayan led Valenzuela with 19 points and 7 boards, followed by Ronjay Buenafe with 13 points and Patrick Cabahug with 11.
GenSan, which skidded to 4-5, got 14 points from homegrown Chris Masaglang and 10 each from Nicko Panganiban and Niko Elorde.
Michael Juico and Jay Collado joined the elite 1,000-point club as Nueva Ecija bested Bacoor, 97-76, and stretched its winning streak to 11 in the opener.
Jucio wound up with 19 points and earned best player honors while Collado contributed 7 points to complement the 16-point effort of John Bryon Villarias and the 10-point output of Jonathan Uyloan.
Bacoor, which fell to 2-5, got 19 points from RJ Ramirez, 18 from Mark Joseph Pangilinan and 10 from Mark Mantuano.