Rum Masters repulse United Royals, Patriots ambush Warriors

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Batangas and Parañaque warded off their opponents on Saturday to gain a share of the lead in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Sixth Season at the Batangas City Coliseum.

The Batangas City Tanduay Rum Masters repulsed the Iloilo United Royals, 71-64, while the Parañaque Patriots ambushed the South Cotabato Warriors, 73-64, for their second straight win in as many starts in the elimination round of the 30-team regional league.

Earlier, Manila SV Batang Sampaloc wasted a 12-point spread but held on to beat Bulacan, 75-72.

With Iloilo threatening, 61-64, following a triple by Mark Nonoy, Batangas responded with a seven-point run, courtesy of Cedric Ablaza, MJ Dela Virgen and Dawn Ochea to seal the outcome.

Ablaza wound up with 18 points, three rebounds and two steals to earn best player honors. No other Rum Master scored in twin digits with Juneric Baloria contributing nine points and Levi Hernandez, Dela Virgen and Jeckster Apinan chipping in eight points each.

Iloilo got 14 points and six assists from Nonoy, 13 points and four rebounds from Gwyne Capacio, and 10 points plus four rebounds from CJ Cansino.

The Patriots caught the favored Warriors napping to surge ahead, 40-25, and never looked back through the efforts of Jielo Razon, Mark Yee, Paolo Castro and Philip Manalang.

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