MPBL: Nueva Ecija torched down Valenzuela to clinch commanding victory

Will McAloney powers his way through for a layup. MPBL
By Aaron Medina

MANILA—Nueva Ecija bounced back from a tough loss as they defeated Valenzuela Xur Homes on Thursday night, 107-78, to regain their composure in a tight playoff positioning in the North Division of the MPBL. 

The defending champs turned red hot in the second frame of their showdown at the Star Arena in Baliwag led by the hot hands of Byron Villarias, who finished with 19 pts, 3 rebounds, and 2 blocks to help his team get a solid 25-point win.

The Vanguards electrified the crowd in the second quarter scoring 6 straight threes, 4 of which came from Villarias. 

The team was able to finish the first half with 36% (7/19) shooting from the three despite struggling in the first frame. 

On the other hand, aside from the victory, the game has been a way for Villarias to redeem his confidence as a shooter after struggling in his last few games. 

Above all, he is thankful for his teammates and management. 

“Unang-una nagpapasalamat ako sa teammates ko kasi sila talaga nag’pu-push sakin na kahit anong mangyari itira mo lang. Basta yung tiwala nila sakin hindi nawawala” said Byron in the interview after the game. 

The Vanguards remain in second place in the North Division with a 15-2 record, just 1.5 games behind the undefeated Pampanga Giant Lanterns, who will face the Bulacan Kuyas later Thursday.

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