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Nueva Ecija thrashes Marikina, shares MPBL lead with Quezon

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The Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards went full throttle in the second half and proceeded to rout the Marikina Shoemasters, 88-64, on Tuesday and share the lead in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Sixth Season elimination round at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Barely ahead, 42-41, at the break, the Rice Vanguards poured in 32 points in the third quarter to pull away for good, 74-48, en route to their ninth straight win that tied them with the Quezon Huskers at the helm of the 29-team field
JC Cullar delivered all of his 7 points, while Michael Juico and Ryan Paule Costelo added 5 each for Nueva Ecija in that span, where Marikina managed to score just 7 points.

Emman Calo emerged top scorer for Nueva Ecija with 13 points, followed by Will McAloney with 12, Juico with 9 and Rob Celiz with 8 points, 7 rebounds plus 4 assists.

The Rice Vanguards, the 2022 MPBL champions, stormed beyond recall, 83-53, midway through the fourth quarter.

Jay Collado and John Bryon Villarias also chipped in 7 points each for Nueva Ecija Coach Don Dulay.

Marikina tumbled to 1-10 despite the 15-point, 3-assist output of Mel Mabigat and the 13-point, 5-rebound, 4-assist, 6-steal effort of Eric Joseph Pili.

The MPBL goes to the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig on Wednesday with a triple bill pitting Davao against Iloilo at 4 p.m., Batangas against Mindoro at 6 p.m. and Pangasinan against Rizal at 8 p.m.


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