MPBL: Paranaque shocks Batangas; Pasay, Rizal win

BATANGAS CITY – Beaten black and blue last time around, Paranaque bounced back strong in a big way as it pulled off a king-size upset 61-57 upset win over host Batangas City in the MPBL Lakan Season Tuesday night at the Batangas City Coliseum here.

Jemal Vizcarra knocked in 15 points, including crucial baskets in the last 40 seconds of the game that helped the Yabo Sports-backed Patriots to get back on track after losing by 53 points against the Bacoor Strikers last time around.

Jemal Vizcarra of the Paranaque Patriots (MPBL photo)
Jemal Vizcarra of the Paranaque Patriots (MPBL photo)

This time, the Patriots caught a big fish in the Athletics, the inaugural staging champions, who saw their three-game winning streak snapped.

It was only the fourth win in 13 games for the Patriots, but for head coach Mike Saguiguit, who escaped a one game suspension after league officials lifted the penalty, the victory would serve as a big boost for the squad moving forward.

“Malaking bagay ito. Yung mga players talagang motivated sila bumawi,” said Saguiguit also a multi-titled coach in the collegiate ranks while handling the Olivarez College Stallions. “It’s a big confidence-builder for us.”

Vizcarra’s jumper before the 24-shot clock violation sounded, gave the Patriots a 60-55 lead fended off a late rally by the Athletics. He secured Paranaque’s win a few seconds later when he split his charities in the last four seconds for the final tally.

Earlier, Pasay continued its sizzling performance in the fastest growing regional amateur basketball league put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner while Rizal also broke out of slump following victories over their respective rivals.

The Voyagers of Pasay picked up their fifth win in a row as they humbled the Nueva Ecija-MiGuards, 75-69, in the other game.

Jan Jamon led the way for the Voyagers, who improved to 8-5 win-loss slate, as the deadshot swingman finished with 13 points. Raymond Ilagan added 12 markers while Dhon Reverente ended up with another double-double performance of 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Reverente became the latest player to reach the 500-point club of the MPBL.

Rizal edged Bacolod-Master Sardines, 89-84, in the first game.