Rommel Calahat shines for Caloocan. MPBL Photo

Quezon, Zamboanga trounce MPBL rivals, Caloocan edges Pangasinan

Quezon and Zamboanga routed Bacolod and Marikina, respectively, on Thursday to keep their lofty spots in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Sixth Season at the Caloocan Sports Complex.

The Quezon Huskers showed their depth and firepower in a 76-55 drubbing of Bacolod City of Smiles that gave them a 5-0 record and share of the lead with San Juan in the elimination round of the 29-team tournament.

Zamboanga Master Sardines, on the other hand, rebounded with a 78-54 demolition of Marikina that raised its slate to 6-1 in the standings.

Caloocan rallied to nip Pangasinan, 66-65, in the nightcap and climb to 3-1.

Trailing, 46-55, after three quarters, the Batang Kankaloo greeted the fourth with a 12-2 spurt sparked by Ronnie Matias to seize control, 58-57.

The Pangasinan Heatwaves retaliated with back-to-back jumpers by Ian Melencio, only for Batang Kankaloo to bury them with a 7-point cluster sparked by a Paul Sanga triple and capped by a lay-up by Rommel Calahat.

Pangasinan drew two charities from Michael Mabulac and a basket by Ed Daquiaog to threaten and had a chance to reverse the outcome with 8 seconds to go.

Daquioag, however, opted for a jumper from afar instead of driving in with 1.2 seconds left, missing the shot and dooming Pangasinan to its fifth defeat in 7 starts.

With 12 of the 14 Huskers fielded contributing at least two points, Quezon led by as far as 70-47 before cruising to victory.

Former MPBL MVP Gab Banal and homegrown Rodel Gravera paced Quezon’s balanced attack with 11 points each, followed by former NCAA MVP Will Gozum and Judel Fuentes with 10 and 9 points, respectively.

Bacolod, which tumbled to 1-6, got 10 points and 10 rebounds from Danny Marilao.

Hurting from an 82-79 overtime loss to Quezon on May 6, Zamboanga vented its wrath on Marikina, leading by as many as 78-54 before pulling down the Shoemasters to  1-6 card.

Jaycee Marcelino again led Zamboanga with 13 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists , 2 steals and 3 blocks, followed by Joseph Gabayni with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Homegrown Jul-Ashri Ignacio and Jayvee Marcelino also delivered for Zamboanga Coach Louie Alas with 11 points each.

Marikina got 14 points from Eric Joseph Pili but no other Shoemaster could score in double figures.

The MPBL visits the Nueva Ecija Coliseum in Palayan City on Saturday with games pitting Sarangani against Paranaque at 4 p.m., Bulacan against Davao at 6 p.m. and Manila against Nueva Ecija at 8 p.m.

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