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MPBL: Negros beats Pasay in double OT thriller

Jeremy Cruz finds mark for Negros. MPBL
By Dugout Philippines

MANILA--The Negros Muscovados tripped the Pasay Voyagers, 86-84, in double overtime on Thursday and shared the lead with earlier winners Abra and Zamboanga in the MPBL Sixth Season at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

Mark Tallo delivered when it mattered as the Abra Weavers subdued the Marikina Shoemasters in the opener, while the Jaycee Marcelino-led Zamboanga Masters Sardines routed the Bicolandia Oragons, 97-82, in the second game.

Hubert Cani canned a stepback jumper with 6.8 seconds left to lift Negros to its second straight win in the 30-team tournament.

Jeremy Cruz also played a pivotal role for Negros as he drilled in back-to-back triples to push the Muscovados ahead, 82-79, while Alvin John Capobres accounted for the other two points that helped sway the balance.

In the first overtime, Cruz's follow-up knotted the count at 76 after which the Voyagers failed to capitalize on their last two possessions in the last 18.7 seconds.

Negros took a 70-66 lead with 1 minute and 13 seconds left in regulation, but Pasay's Antonio Jeffrey Coronel and Patrick Sleat, off a steal by Lawrence Paul Victoria, were able to score and prolong the game.

Cruz paced Negros with 22 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals, followed by Jefferson Comia with 17 points, James Paul Una with 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks, and Mark Atabay with 10 points and 7 rebounds.

Pasay drew 23 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals from Victoria, 13 points each from Jasper Salenga, Warren Bonifacio, and Sleat, and 10 points plus 11 rebounds from Coronel.

Former MVP Jaycee Marcelino posted a career-high 31 points, 8 steals 4 rebounds, and 3 assists as Zamboanga pulled away, 77-49, and was never threatened.

Renzo Subido contributed 13 points while Jayvee, the other half of the Marcelino twins, accounted for 11 points for Zamboanga coach Louis Alas.

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