Zamboanga City—Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines survived General Santos City’s final assault to prevail, 75-73, in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Presented by Xtreme on Tuesday night at the people-filled Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum here.
Ahead by eight points, 73-65, with less than 4 minutes left, Zamboanga watched GenSan charged right back at 75-73 through crack guards Mark Cruz and Nico Elorde.
GenSan, which trailed by as far as 12-29 in the second quarter, even had the chance to send the game into overtime, but Elorde and Dhan Reverente missed probable game-tying jumpers in the last 12 seconds and allowed Zamboanga to tally its 14th victory against three losses in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 22-team tournament.
GenSan, which is assured of a quarterfinal slot like Zamboanga, skidded to 12-6.
Other games saw Batangas subdue Muntinlupa, 85-81, and Sarangani clobber Manila, 74-55.
Batangas City Embassy Chill leaned on Cedrick Ablaza, Levi Hernandez and Jeremy Cruz to climb to 16-2. Ablaza posted 17 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists to complement the 18-point output of Hernandez and the 12-point contribution of Jeremy Cruz.
Muntinlupa slid to 3-14 despite the 24-point, 7-rebound effort of Domark Matillano and the 12-point, 10-rebound line of Harold Arboleda.
The Warriors had the chance to extend the game, but Elorde and Dhan Reverente missed probable game-tying jumpers in the last 12 seconds.
Zamboanga found a new idol in Jaycee Marcelino, who drilled in 22 points, on 9 of 10 field goal shooting and snared 7 rebounds. Marcelino was supported by Jhaps Bautista with 12 points.
Nico Elorde again led GenSan’s offense with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, followed by Cruz with 12 and Reverente with 10.
Homegrown actor Gerlad Anderson chipped in 8 points for GenSan.