MPBL: Davao Occ. keeps top spot

Mark Yee did not get his usual double-double, but it did not stop the Davao Occidental Tigers from beating the Basilan Steel, 76-71, on Saturday in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League’s (MPBL) first game here at University of St. La Salle Gym.

Getting more offensive-minded, Yee fired a game-high 22 points and settled for five rebounds for the Cocolife-supported Tigers, who tallied their 13th win against two losses and kept top spot in the South division of the 31-team league founded by Senator Manny Pacquiao.

Yee, who boasts an MPBL best 29 double-double performances, got support from Emman Calo with 13 points, Chester Saldua with 10, and Yvan Ludovice with 8 points, 8 assists and 2 steals.

The Jumbo Plastics-supported Steel trailed by as many as 14 points, 43-57, and suffered their sixth loss in 15 games.

Jerald Bautista scored 18, Jay Collado added 14, while Cris Dumapig chipped in 11 points plus 10 rebounds for the Steel.

Bacolod Master Sardines banked on local icon Paolo Javelona and Cebuano star Mark Tallo to subdue the Soccsksargen Marlins, 89-80, in the nightcap and improve to 6-8.

Javelona scored a game-high 27, including 14 in the second, while Tallo contributed 22 points, including 16 in the third quarter, where Bacolod surged ahead, 74-64.

They shared best player of the game honors with Javelona adding 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, and Tallo chipping in 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals.

Jopher Custodio supported the former pros with 11 points and so did Jerick Canada with 5 points and 11 assists.

The Marlins, who absorbed their 14th straight defeat in as many games, drew 23 points from Norman Gonzales and 18 from Exeqiel Biteng.