Pasig bested Manila, 75-70, on Monday to wheel back in the race for quarterfinal slots in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season at the renovated San Andres Sports Complex.
Keeping their poise in the wake of the Manila Stars’ final rally, the Pasig Realtors scored the game’s final four points to tally their seventh victory against five losses in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 22-team tournament.
Jason Melano shone for Pasig with 21 points and 10 rebounds and so did Robbie Manalang and Carlo Lastimosa with 14 and 5 and 14 and 4, respectively. Rey Anthony Peralta chipped in 11 points while Jason Ballesteros collared 10 rebounds for the Realtors.
Manila clustered seven points, four by Ronnie Matias, to threaten at 70-71, with 3 minutes and 3 seconds left, but failed to score the rest of the game and suffered their ninth defeat in 15 starts.
Marvin Lee scored 15 points for Manila, followed by Joaquin Mariano with 12, Dan Sara with 11 and Matias with 9 plus 13 rebounds and 7 assists.
Earlier games saw Zamboanga and San Juan dump their rivals.
Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines demolished Laguna Krah Asia, 81-46, while San Juan subdued Marikina, 81-67.
Powered by Jaycee Marcelino’s 12 points, Manuel Mosqueda’s 12 points and Ralph Tansingco’s 10, Zamboanga climbed to 10-3 and pulled down Marikina to 3-10.
San Juan Go For Gold banked on the 22-point explosion of Judel Fuentes and the 14-point contribution of Orlan Wamar to claim its 8th win in 14 starts and relegate Marikina to 3-10.
MPBL CEO and founder Manny Pacquiao watched the games, shot some triples and threw away Molten balls to the crowd.
The league returns to the Batangas City Coliseum on Tuesday with another triple-bill featuring the Batangas City Embassy Chill-Sarangani Marlins encounter at 9 p.m. Other games pit Rizal against Makati at 5 p.m. and Nueva Ecija against Muntinlupa at 7 p.m.