Quezon Province held off Makati’s last attacks to win the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) at the Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City on Saturday, June 17.
Quezon Huskers controlled the first half of the game, relying on their early advantage to keep Makati OKBet Kings on the back foot. The Huskers built a 37-20 lead before halftime, only to be chased down by the OKBet Kings, who threatened three times in the fourth quarter, the last at 72-75 after a 5-point cluster by Emman Calo with 39 seconds left.
On the other hand, the Quezon Huskers responded with a final 5-point salvo to record their 10th win against four defeats in the tournament’s single round-robin elimination round. The Huskers also got two triples from Verano and one from Robin Rono for 13 out of 29 tries.
Quezon was led by Raffy Verano, who had 16 points, 8 in the fourth quarter, and ten rebounds. Francis Tamsi, a 6-foot-3 former Ateneo Blue Eagle, led the way with 13 points, three triples, and local Topeng Lagrama with nine points, all from the rainbow territory, and Mon Abundo with eight points, four in the final 49 seconds.Makati’s defense held firm despite a rush of attempts, preventing every Husker attempt. Makati, which fell to 9-5, received 16 points and ten rebounds from Rob Celiz, 11 points and 12 rebounds from Billy Robles, and 11 points, five rebounds, and two steals from Calo.
Bacolod improved to 6-9 with the help of Val Chauca’s 22 points, five assists, and three rebounds. Bulacan improved to 6-9 thanks to Buenaventura Raflores’ 19 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.
Regie Boy Basibas had 13 points and eight rebounds for the California Golden Bears, while Mark Sarangay had 11 points and five rebounds for the Fil-Peruvian guard Chauca.
Muntinlupa improved to 8-6 thanks to John Delos Santos’ 12 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and four steals, JP Sarao’s 12 points, seven rebounds, John Amores’ 12 points, five rebounds, and John Abis’ 11 points, five assists, and four rebounds.
Negros fell to 5-10 despite Jason Melano’s 29 points and 11 rebounds and Nemesis Dela Cruz’s 19 points and seven rebounds.
Today, Monday, the MPBL returns to the Batangas City Coliseum with a triple bill featuring Iloilo versus GenSan at 4 p.m., Bataan against Zamboanga at 6 p.m., and Nueva Ecija against Batanga at 8 p.m.