Super Crunch prevail; Athletics stretch run in MPBL

Super Crunch prevail; Athletics stretch run in MPBL

ANTIPOLO CITY – Playing with renewed vigor under a corporate sponsor, Makati Super Crunch, formerly the Skyscrapers, downed the Zamboanga Valientes, 77-65, Wednesday night and boosted their drive in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Datu Cup at Ynares Center here.

With the count tied at 47 after three quarters, the Super Crunch poured 30 points in the fourth quarter to prevail pulling away and raised their record to 9-4, good for fourth place in the North division.

Jeckster Apinan led Super Crunch with 19 points and nine rebounds, but it was Joseph Manlangit and James Mangahas who inflicted lethal damage with nine points each in the last 10 minutes en route to a total of 14 and 13, respectively.

The Valientes, being supported by Family’s Brand Sardines, fell to 5-7 as only Von Lanete with 11 points and Reed Juntilla with 10 could tally twin digits.

In the nightcap, the Batangas City Athletics needed to go through overtime before subduing the Rizal Crusaders, 92-90, in a see-saw battle.

Regulation play ended at 81-all as both the Tanduay-backed Athletics and the Xentro Mall-supported Crusaders wasted chances to win right away.

The Athletics, champion of the inaugural MPBL Rajah Cup, notched their fourth straight win and climbed to No. 4 in the South division with an 8-6 record. The Crusaders dropped to 4-10.

Sans Jeff Viernes, out with five fouls, the Athletics banked on big man Jhaymo Eguilos and Letran standout Bong Quinto to frustrate the Crusaders in the extra five minutes.

Lester Alvarez topscored for the Athletics with 23 points even as the 6-foot-6 Eguilos chipped in 14 points, four in overtime, and 12 rebounds. Quinto chipped in 11 points, five in extension.

The Crusaders drew 22 points from Eric dela Cuesta and 20 from Marco Balagtas.

The MPBL moves to the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Thursday with Laguna battling Imus at 7 p.m. and Mandaluyong tangling with Quezon City at 9 p.m.