MPBL: Sumang, Bitoonlift Nueva Ecija defeated Batangas-Embassy Chill

Jun 22, 2023

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At the Batangas City Coliseum on Monday, Nueva Ecija defeated Batangas City Embassy Chill, 68-56, under the leadership of Roi Sumang and Michael Juico in the fifth season of the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League).

As the reigning champions broke a 31-31 tie at halftime, Sumang scored all 16 of his points in the second half to help them secure their 13th victory against one loss in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 29-team competition.

Chris Bitoon contributed 10 points and 3 assists, and Juico added 10 points and 8 rebounds for Nueva Ecija. Juico also had 6 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals.

The Athletics suffered their third defeat in 14 games after Jeckster Apinan scored the first basket of the third quarter for Batangas. Sumang then started a 13-point run for Nueva Ecija, from which the Athletics were unable to recover.

Sumang sealed the destiny of Batangas with back-to-back triples, extending the Rice Vanguards’ advantage to their greatest margin of 62-49 with 4 minutes and 35 seconds left despite a brief comeback by Batangas that reduced the deficit to 49-56.

Nueva Ecija’s 24 points from beyond the arc—including Sumang’s three three-pointers and Bitoon’s two successful tries—were significant because Batangas only converted one of its 20 three-point attempts.

Juneric Baloria and Jeckster Apinan each had 14 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists for Batangas. Jeckster Apinan also grabbed 9 boards.

Due to roof leaks brought on by intense rain, the Nueva Ecija-Batangas game was delayed for around 30 minutes before continuing after the downpour stopped.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines defeated Bataan in a previous game, 74-55, to improve their record to 11-3.

While newcomer Joseph Gabayni shone underneath the hoop, Judel Fuentes, Jaycee, Jayvee, and Dexter Maiquez led the attacking charge.

Bataan dropped to 6-9. Zamboanga jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.

Jaycee had 16 points and 7 assists, Jayvee had 13 points, and Maiquez had 11 points and 9 rebounds. Fuentes had a game-high 19 points.

Zamboanga led 49-36 in total rebounds thanks to Gabayni’s 7 points and 11 rebounds.

John Wilson led the way with 19 points, including 5 three-pointers, as the GenSan Warriors narrowly defeated the Iloilo United Royals, 86-84, in the opening game.

Theo Flores scored an outstanding 25 points, but Iloilo lost their fifth straight game and fell to 5-10.

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