|Justin Araña led the Rice Vanguards in spoiling the Capitals' last dash to the playoffs. MPBL|
By Dugout Philippines
BALANGA, BATAAN – Nueva Ecija spoiled Quezon City-WEMSAP’s playoff chances after coming out with a dominant 92-74 victory on Wednesday in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Cup at the People Center Capitol drive here.
Nueva Ecija came out blazing hot, taking a 23-12 behind Justin Arana and Tonino Gonzaga in the first quarter. Then, the Rice Vanguards continued their surge in the second frame as John Sarao converted a layup from a pass by Jai Reyes to take their biggest lead of the ball game at 25, 50-25.
Though Mark Olayon was able to trim the lead to 11 points, 59-70, with 8:28 remaining in the final canto, Nueva Ecija came in ready as Martinez and Gab Reyes joined hands in a 6-0 run to completely silence the Capitals.
“Yung tinuro lang samin nung coach namin na kasi… yung versus Pampanga, parang kaniya kaniya kami. Ngayon, sabi ni coach need niya ng team work talaga kaya nagpasahan kami,” said Justin Arana, who posted 19 points and 11 boards for the Rice Vanguards.
Maclean Sabellina chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds while Jai Reyes had an all-around outing of 12 points, eight assists, and seven board.
Quezon City, on the other hand, fell out of the playoff race with a 10-17 card.
Nueva Ecija, who is also out of the playoff race, rose to an 8-17 standing in the North Division.
Mon Mabayo and Mark Olayon paced Quezon City with 23 and 20 points, respectively.
Nueva Ecija (92) – Arana 19, Sabellina 13, J. Reyes 12, Martinez 9, Gonzaga 8, Monte 5, Celada 3, G. Reyes 3, Gotam 2, Tadeo 2, De Leon 0
Quezon City-WEMSAP (74) – Mabayo 23, Olayon 20, Tayongtong 13, Castro 8, Medina 6, Derige 2, Gaydon 2, Santiago 0, Olea 0, Sison 0, Atabay 0, Barua 0
Quarterscores: 23-12, 50-25, 69-53, 92-74
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