ANGELES CITY — Harold Arboleda and Chris Bitoon brought their A-game to lead their respective squads to contrasting wins in the MPBL Datu Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Arena here.
Arboleda, who played for the NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA several years ago, came up with another double-double effort in powering the Parañaque Patriots-F2 Logistics to a 73-69 squeaker of pesky Pasay Voyagers.
The 6-foot-3, former University of Perpetual Help standout finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and a steal in another all-around performance that towed the Patriots back on the winning track. Parañaque now improved its win-loss record to 3-2 and arrested a two-game slide.
Arboleda capped his long-game brilliance by also playing clutch in the endgame as he scored his team’s last five points. His three-pointer in the last 1:03 of the match put the Patriots back on the driver’s seat, 71-69. He added two more points by making two of four shots from the charity stripes in the last two offensive thrusts of the Patriots.
Ryusie Koga contributed 16 markers for Parañaque.
While Arboleda dished out another double-double performance, Bitoon went an assists shy of completing his own, but that hardly had any effect in his efficient playmaking and huge contributions to the Manila Stars’ ovbrepowering 100-75 triumph over host team Pampanga Lanterns in the main game.
Bitoon, the lefty guard from Saint Clare, knocked in 22 points and dished out nine assists to steer the Stars to their fourth win in five games. The Stars had defeated their last three opponents by an average of 20.3 points. Prior to this game, the Robust Energy Capsule-backed Stars were coming off from a 107-76 whipping of the Cebu Sharks-Casino Ethyl Alcohol, whom they had held scoreless the entire first period.
This time, they brought their vicious form in thwarting the Lantens, who had lost back-to-back games and fell to 2-3.