ZAMBOANGA, Philippines – At the Vitaliano Agan Coliseum in Zamboanga City OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season Presented by Xtreme on Monday, the Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines crushed Muntinlupa, 79 to 50, to move within one victory of securing a semifinal spot in the South division.
Prior to defeating General Santos City, 81 to 77, in their own quarterfinal playoffs, Bacolod Bingo Plus faced tougher competition. This advancement brought them closer to the semifinal round. On October 31 at the same location, Zamboanga—which finished as the top qualifier in the South—and Bacolod will attempt to end the best-of-three series.
Zamboanga led from the beginning to the end, barely meeting Muntinlupa’s resistance, and pulled away late in the fourth quarter, 77 to 43, to put the game out of reach.
Choi Ignacio, a Zamboanga native, led the team in scoring with 15 points while Jhaps Bautista was second with 11 points and five rebounds. Ignacio converted 5-of-9 triple attempts.
With 10 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals, Jaycee Marcelino was the star of the show.
Zamboanga, which dominated the boards, 45 to 9, had 10 points, 8 assists, and 2 rebounds from twin brother Jayvee.
With 10, Domark Matillano was the only Muntinlupa Cager to reach double digits.
Jhan McHale Nermal, a native of Bacolod, contributed 20 points and 22 rebounds, and Alwin Alday contributed 20 points and five rebounds as Bacolod avenged its 73 to 6 loss to GenSan in the elimination round.
Aaron Jeruta had 12 points and six assists, while Jeramer Cabanag, a native Filipino, scored 11 points and pulled down five boards. Mark Yee chipped in with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Cristopher Masaglang led GenSan with 13 points, followed by 12 points and 10 rebounds from Christian Fajarito, 12 points from Nico Elorde, and 10 points from Brian Wendel Hilario.
At the Ynares Center Arena in Pasig on Tuesday, the MPBL playoffs will continue with a doubleheader. At 6:30 PM, a battle between Sarangani and Rizal took place. At 9:00 PM, Quezon City and Pasig squared off.