Pampanga and Batangas took similar routes in disposing of Rizal and Bataan, respectively, in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season Presented by Xtreme at the Bren Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando, Pampanga.
The Pampanga Giant Lanterns blew a 15-point lead (83-68) in the last three minutes and settled for an 86-83 victory over the Bataan Risers in the nightcap of a triple-bill.
The Batangas City Athletics, also wasted a 15-point spread (66-51) in the last five minutes before subduing the Rizal Golden Coolers, 68-63, in the opener.
Pampanga, being mentored by Gov. Dennis Pineda, posted its seventh straight win and climbed to 11-4 in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 22-team tournament.
Batangas notched its fifth straight win and rose to 15-1 under Coach Cholo Villanueva.
Rizal, which trailed by as many as 29 points, tumbled to 10-6, while Bataan dropped to 8-7.
Pasig rode on a fourth-quarter spurt to trounce Valenzuela XUR Realty Homes Inc., 71-58, in the second game.
Rey Anthony Peralta presided over Pasig’s offense with 17 points, followed by Robbie Manalang with 14, Carlo Lastimosa with 11 and Aldeo Lucero with 10.
Enjoying a 4-game run, Pasig improved to 10-5 while pulling down Valenzuela to 7-9.
The Giant Lanterns were led by Alex Ramos with 17 points and 11 rebounds, followed by Archie Concepcion with 15 points and 4 rebounds, Jammer Jamito with 12 points and 6 rebounds ad Dominick Vera with 12 points.
Pint-sized guard Christopher Lagrama contributed 10 points, including two pivotal charities with 9.2 seconds left, 8 rebounds and 2 steals, while Michelle Maynes added 10 points for Pampanga’s cause.
Bataan got 24 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals from James Darwin Castro and 19 points plus 9 rebounds from Arvie Bringas and 10 points from Gio Espuelas.
The MPBL visits the Nueva Ecija Coliseum in Palayan City on Tuesday with a triple-bill featuring Mindoro against San Juan at 5 p.m., Laguna against Imus at 7 p.m. and Manila against Nueva Ecija at 9 p.m.