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Parañaque stays unbeaten in MPBL, Valenzuela, Bulacan also score wins

Dennis Santos lifts Valenzuela past Bataan. MPBL
By Dugout Philippines

MANILA--The Paranaque Patriots struck from afar in the fourth quarter and thwarted the Muntinlupa Cagers, 64-57, on Wednesday to share the lead in the MPBL Sixth Season elimination round at the crammed Olivarez College Gym in Paranaque City.

Philip Manalang canned two triples while Mark Yee and John Rey Villanueva added a triple each as Paranaque took control at 62-55 and proceeded to tally their fourth straight victory in as many starts, the same card as Zamboanga Masters Sardines.

Yee wound up with 10 points and 13 rebounds to earn best player honors for the Patriots, who are enjoying their strongest start in the country's top regional league.

Manalang piled up 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists while homegrown Paolo Castro contributed 10 points and 3 rebounds.

Muntinlupa tumbled to its fourth straight defeat despite the 15-point, 10-rebound effort of Joshua Guiab and the 13-point, 4-rebound output of Joshua Miguel Marcos.

Other games saw Valenzuela Classics subdue the Bataan Risers, 91-87, and the Bulacan Kuyas stun the Sarangani Marlins, 92-88.

Valenzuela, powered by Dennis Santos, surged ahead 81-70 and used it as a buffer to raise their record to 2-2, the same as Bataan.

Santos finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks and drew support from Ryan Trazona with 14 points, Nemesis Dela Cruz with 12 points plus 5 rebounds, and Orin Catacutan with 10 points plus 4 rebounds.

Bataan got 25 points and 7 rebounds from homegrown Dante Paguio and 10 points each from Mitchelle Maynes and Yves Sazon.

Bulacan leaned on Nino Ibanez and Kristan Hernandez to rally past Sarangani.

Ibanez knocked in a triple with 16.4 seconds to go while Hernandez converted two charities with 4.5 ticks left to hand the Kuyas their first win after three straight setbacks.

Ibanez, a former Lyceum hotshot, chalked 20 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals while the 6-foot-6 Hernandez tallied 17 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.

Veteran Paulo Hubalde submitted 12 points, 11 assists, and 6 rebounds while Ralph Manzo came through with 12 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals for the Kuyas, who clawed back from a 54-67 hole.

Sarangani, which led for the last time at 88-87, dropped to 1-3 despite the 17-point, 10-rebound contribution of Coy Alves, the 14-point, 6-rebound line of Wilmar Oftana and the 11-point, 5-rebound, 5-assist production of Felix John Vikkarente.

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