Manila eliminates Mindoro from MPBL playoff race; tightens North top seed battle

Carlo Lastimosa exploded for the Stars. MPBL
By Dugout Philippines

BACOOR, CAVITE -- Manila-Frontrow booted out Mindoro-JAC Liner after a wire-to-wire 133-101 victory, Monday in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season at the Strike Gym here.

Carlo Lastimosa registered 27 points, eight rebounds and five assists as Manila rose its win-loss standing to 23-4 for the second spot in the Northern division.

"Maganda ang focus ng players namin offensively at defensively from start to finish, they just attacked Mindoro's defense all game," said Stars head coach Tino Pinat.

Five other Manila cagers scored double-figures with Jonjon Gabriel having 16 points and eight boards, Gabby Espinas tallying 15 markers, and the duo of Jollo Go and Marvin Lee getting 12 apiece, built on seven triples. Mac Montilla added 10 points and four dimes.

Chris Bitoon flirted with a triple-double as he unloaded eight points, eight rebounds, and 12 dimes.

The Stars exploded with 39 points in the second quarter, 14 coming from Lastimosa while limiting the Tamaraws to just 24, to build a humongous 22-point margin at the break, 65-43.

Manila's lead would eventually balloon to as high as 32 points on Go's stepback three-pointer from the left-wing, the final basket of the contest.

The Frontrow-backed Stars orchestrated their offense beautifully, leading to 42 assists, with their reserves scoring the bulk of their points with 84.

Rodel Vaygan's 28 points and five rebounds went down the drain as Mindoro dropped to 9-18, ending their playoff hopes.

The Scores:

Manila-Frontrow 133 - Lastimosa 27, Gabriel 16, Espinas 15, Lee 12, Go 12, Montilla 10, Abrigo 8, Bitoon 8, Matias 8, Dionisio 6, Tallo 5, Laude 2, Lopez 2, Manalo 2.

Mindoro-JAC Liner 101 - Vaygan 28, Baracael 18, Bangeles 15, Mandreza 12, Abanes 10, Matias 6, Osicos 5, Astrero 3, Acedillo 2, Axalan 2.

Quarterscores: 26-19, 65-43, 94-78, 133-101.

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