Zamboanga stifles Batangas City to clinch MPBL South semis seat

Zamboanga is heading to the next round. MPBL

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Zamboanga came alive in the second half to eliminate Batangas City from the MPBL Southern Division Playoffs through a 69-52 win in Game 3 of their first round series at the Rizal Memorial Colleges-Petro Gazz Arena in Davao City on Wednesday night.

After a tight first half, Zamboanga dominated the last 20 minutes, outscoring Batangas City, 22-14, in the third quarter and stifling its opponent, 19-9, in the final frame.

"Despite na nagkakapisikalan na yung laro, we stayed composed and stuck to our game plan," said Zamboanga head coach Britt Reroma. "Pinaka importante dito is yung hindi kami nawala sa depensa. It was really the key for us kasi imagine we were able to limit them to just 52 points."

Harold Arboleda led Zamboanga, which will face the winner of the Bicol-Davao Occidental game, which is ongoing as of posting, in the South semifinals with 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting including 3-of-4 from long range, nine rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.

Anton Asistio added 12 points also on 4-of-6 field with 3-for-4 from threes, one rebound, three assists, and one steal.

Jeff Viernes led Batangas City, which was knocked out of the first round despite making the Final Four in the first two seasons of the regional league.

The Scores:

Zamboanga-Family's Brand Sardines 69 - Arboleda 15, Asistio 12, Santillan 10, Rono 9, Pasaol 8, Bonsubre 6, Black 5, Reyes 2, Thiele 2, Manzo 0, Sollano 0.

Batangas City-Tanduay 52 - Viernes 13, Eguilos 11, Santos 6, Koga 6, Lopez 5, Sara 5, Melano 4, Bragais 2, Teodoro 0, Rogado 0, Grimaldo 0.

Quarterscores: 15-17, 28-29, 50-43, 69-52.

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