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MPBL 2023: Nueva Ecija keeps its fiery win streak

Apr 25, 2023

ANTIPOLO CITY, Philippines – At the Ynares Center in Antipolo City on Friday, the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards easily defeated the Bulacan Kuyas 75-67 to keep a share of the lead at the MPBL – Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

With Mike Juico driving them, the defending national champions took the lead at 45-29 and never looked back, winning five straight games to tie the Muntinlupa Cagers for first place in the 29-team tournament.

Juico won the game’s Best Player award after finishing with a game-high 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.

Will McAloney contributed 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 assists, while Jonathan Uyloan contributed 13 points and 6 rebounds.

Nueva Ecija, who hardly missed the contributions of its starters Mike Mabulca and Pamboy Raymundo, jumped out to a 65-51 lead midway through the fourth quarter before letting Bulacan cut the deficit before the final buzzer.

For Bulacan, who fell to 4-2, Rence Luis Alcantara scored 10 of his 12 points in the last frame.

Joseph Gabayni contributed 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Kuyas, and Buenaventura Raflores contributed 11 points and 4 rebounds.

Just a couple of weeks earlier: Imus and Bulacan defeat rivals, but Nueva Ecija takes the lead all by itself

In order to secure its fourth straight victory, Nueva Ecija scored 10 points in the last seconds.

At the Ynares Center in Antipolo, the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards defeated the Rizal Xentro Mall Golden Coolers, 87-70, to take the sole lead in the fifth season of the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League).

After falling behind 36-33, the reigning champion Nueva Ecija scored 10 points, including back-to-back triples from John Bryan Villarias, to retake the lead 43-36 and secure its fourth consecutive victory.

With 13 points, five boards, and two assists, Will McAloney led Nueva Ecija’s scoring, and Villarias chipped in with 12 points, four rebounds, and two steals.

Bobby Balucanag and Chris Bitoon both scored nine points.

After recording a 25-of-63 field goal percentage, Rizal was plagued by poor field goal shooting and suffered its fourth straight loss, becoming the first team to lose a homecourt assignment.

The Imus SV Squad defeated the Quezon City Gaz N Go, 79-58, while the Bulacan Kuyas defeated the Makati OKBet Kings, 76-72.

For Bulacan, which advanced to 4-1, Levi Dela Cruz scored 16 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, and Kentoy Segura chipped in with 14 points.

For its part, Imus relied on Jaymar Gimpayan’s double-double performance to move to 2-1. Gimpayan scored 15 points and pulled down 20 boards.

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