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Nueva Ecija squashes Marikina to stay unbeaten

Byron Villarias prevailed over Nhomer Gonzales in their shootout. MPBL
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Nueva Ecija remains undefeated in the MPBL after clobbering Marikina, 99-77, on Monday night at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in San Fernando City, Pampanga.

The Rice Vanguards prevailed despite an early threat from the Shoemasters to finally put a taint to their record.

Marikina showed promise in the first quarter, opening a 23-17 lead over Nueva Ecija to close out the period.

The Rice Vanguards, however, bounced back in the second quarter, eventually forcing a 45-all deadlock at halftime, and pulled away for good in the third by outscoring the Shoemasters, 25-7.

Byron Villarias exploded for 25 points on six three-pointers along with seven rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks for Nueva Ecija, which is now at 14-0.

Will McAloney added 13 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and one block, while Pamboy Raymundo and Michael Mabulac each chipped in 10 markers.

Mabulac went 5-for-5 from the field, while Raymundo also had 10 rebounds for the double-double.

Nhomer Gonzales put up 23 markers, nine boards, five dimes, three swipes, and three rejections, while Yves Sazon added 22 points also on six triples, three caroms, two assists, and four interceptions for Marikina, which dropped to 3-9.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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