On Friday in the OKbet-(MPBL) Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League 4th Season presented by Xtreme at the San Jose Del Monte Sports Complex in Bulacan, THE Sarangani Marlins rode the hot hands of Paul Sanga to thrash the Bataan Risers, 92-80.
Sanga, a 6-foot-4 shooter who won the award for Best Player, finished the game with a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds on 5-of-12 shooting from outside the arc, 1-of-1 from two-point range, and 4-of-4 on free throw tries.
The Marlins surged away, 83-60, en route to their fourth straight victory and a 9-2 record in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 22-team tournament, with Sanga receiving plenty of support from Donald Gumaru, Gabby Espinas, homegrown Tricky Peromingan, and new import Macky Acosta.
The Marlins barely noticed the absence of injured guards Kyt Jimenez and Yvan Ludovice thanks to Gumaru’s 16 points and 9 assists, Espinas’ 11 points and 6 assists, Peromingan’s 10 points and 7 rebounds, and Acosta’s 10 points and 4 rebounds.
Jamil Gabawan had 18 rebounds and Arvie Bringas had 16, but despite the Risers’ ability to dominate the boards (62-44), they were hindered by their poor outside shooting (3 of 26 attempts) and poor free throw shooting (15 of 31 attempts).
Top Gun James Darwin Castro was limited to just 14 points by Bringas, who added 17 of his own.
Gio Espuelas and Guilmer Torre, both Bataan natives, combined for 11 points as Bataan fell to 7-3.