For their sixth victory in the MPBL, James Castro tows Bataan past Negros

May 28, 2023

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MANILA, Philippines – in the fifth season of the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) at the Bataan People’s Center in Balanga, Bataan defeated Negros, 67-64, by demonstrating greater stability in crucial moments.

With the Muscovados in danger at 57 to 60, Kris Torrado, Ronjay Lastimosa, and Arvie Bringas combined for seven points in opposition to Bernie Bregondo’s lone field goal as the Risers notched their second straight victory and moved back up to the top half of the rankings with a record of 6 to 5.

In other matches, Caloocan defeated Valenzuela with a score of 83 to 72 and Marikina defeated Iloilo with a score of 83 to 71 in the tournament’s elimination stage.

Prior to James Castro’s outstanding shooting in the third quarter, when Bataan took a 56 to 42 lead and Negros fell to 4 to 7, Negros had been in the lead for the majority of the game.

As no other Riser was able to score in double digits, Castro finished with 14 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds to win the best player award. Bataan, which trailed by as much as 15 to 26 at the halfway mark of the second quarter, pulled close with 9 points each from Robbi Darang and Jethro Sombero.

The Muscovados had a 58 to 41 advantage in rebounds thanks to Jason Melano’s 17 and Bernie Bregondo’s 12, but Bataan made up for it with tenacious defense that caused the Negros to make 19 errors.

Despite the fact that Caloocan had the upper hand the entire game, the Batang Kankaloo required clutch hits from Paul Sanga, Gabby Espinas, and Jeramer Cabanag to end Valenzuela’s continuous rallies and advance to 7 to 4.

Espinas scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Cabanag scored 13 points, four assists, and four rebounds. Sanga finished with 20 points, four assists, and three rebounds.

Michael Angelo Macion scored 19, Enjerloo John Diego scored 17, and Tsutomo Tateishi, a 6-foot-8 center, scored 11 for Valenzuela, which dropped to 1 to 10.

With the help of Adzhar Udjan, a recent signing, who had 12 rebounds, the Marikina Shoemasters outrebounded the Iloilo United Royals, 60 to 41, and then drew away, 60 to 43, to win the game and finish the game with a score of 60 to 43.

Kyle Tolentino had 12, RV Berjay had 12, Udjan had 10, and Raymond Casajeros had 18 for Marikina as the team’s leader.

Even though Justine Sanchez scored 24 points, Iloilo only managed to improve to 5 to 6.

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