Risers notch 21st win; Zamboanga triumphs
Roy Luarca (Philstar.com) - February 19, 2019 - 9:12am

 MANILA, Philippines — The Bataan Risers want to finish the elimination round on top, nothing less.

Already qualified for the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup playoffs since two months back, the Risers continued to pour on the heat as they routed the Marikina Shoemasters, 81-64, Monday night at Marist School Gymnasium.

Showing no mercy, the Risers stormed to a 64-41 spread before cruising to their 21st victory against just two losses, virtually assuring them of topping not only the North division, but the 26 teams in the fold.

The Shoemasters, who trailed from start to finish, skidded to 8-15 and bowed out of the race for the eight playoff seats in the South division.

With the outcome beyond doubt, Bataan coach Jojo Lastimosa had the luxury of shuffling all 15 players at his disposal, 12 of whom scored two points or more.

Yvan Ludovice topscored for the Risers with 13, followed by Gary David with 12, and Vince Tolentino with 10.

The Shoemasters drew 16 points from Ronald Roy and 11 from Renato Ular. Actor Gerlad Anderson chipped in two points.

Earlier, Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines nipped the Cebu City Sharks, 61-58, to fuel its playoffs drive.

Pushed by better free throw shooting, Zamboanga climbed to 10-12, overtaking its victim, which fell to 11-13 in the South division.

Both Zamboanga and Cebu have 17 charities, but the Zamboanguenos fared better by making 12 as against only seven for the Casino Ethyl Alcohol-backed Sharks.

Former pro Ryan Buenafe led Zamboanga with 13 points, followed by Ivan Villanueva with 12, Reed Juntilla with 11 and Robin Rono with 10. Harold Arboleda went scoreless, but snagged 13 rebounds.

The Sharks, who led at 38-27, got 12 points from Edrian Lao, 11 from Patrick Cabahug and 10 from Jaybie Mantilla.

The MPBL goes to San Andres Sports Complex on Tuesday with San Juan battling Mandaluyong at 7 p.m. and Manila tackling Navotas at 9 p.m.

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