MANILA, Philippines – In the fifth season of the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League), which took place on Thursday at the Olivarez College Gymnasium in Paranaque, Rizal Xentro Mall prevailed, 80 to 79, despite a ferocious comeback by Paranaque.
The Paranaque Patriots put up a fight in the final two minutes of play when they trailed 70-79. Jielo Razon’s three-pointer capped an eight-point run.
In order to give Rizal a two-point lead, Edgar Charcos subsequently made two of his three free throws. However, with 10 seconds left, Keith Pido of Paranaque was fouled and forced to shoot from the free-throw line.
In the single round-robin elimination stage of the 29-team competition, Pido, who finished with 15 points, made the first free throw but missed the second, allowing Rizal to win for the fifth time in 14 games while dropping the Patriots to 6-8.
With 16 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks, homegrown talent Troy Mallillin once again led Rizal. Michael Are and Pido were next with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Along with 12 from Jayboy Solis and 11 from Pari Llagas, Paranaque also scored 15 points from Razon, all of which came in the fourth quarter.
To improve to 9 to 5, Pasig City MCW Sports defeated the Bacoor City Strikers in an earlier game, 79 to 72.
As Pasig opened a 35 to 51 lead, Ryan Costello stood out with 26 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.
In addition to Kenny Roger Rocacurva’s 15 points and 8 rebounds, Pierce Chan contributed 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in his favor.
Mark Yee scored 19 points and pulled down 9 rebounds for Bacoor, which lost for just the second time in 13 games. Yvan Ludovice chipped in with 10 points.
San Juan improved their record to 8-3 after winning the first game against Bicol, 82 to 63, as was predicted.
Orlan Wamar scored 13 points, had 8 assists, and three thefts to come in second place behind Adrian Nocum, who led the San Juan Knights with 18 points, 4 rebounds, and two steals.
Egie Boy Mojica and Zach Huang both scored 12 points.
After 14 games, Bicol was still winless despite the contributions of James Martinez (15 points), Wowie Escosio (10 points), and Redel Fabro (10 points each).