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Cruz, Cervantes lift Pampanga past Bulacan as Quezon City deals Iloilo first MPBL loss



Tiebreaker Times Cruz, Cervantes lift Pampanga past Bulacan as Quezon City deals Iloilo first MPBL loss Basketball MPBL News  Tonino Gonzaga Sean Manganti Sandy Cenal Samboy de Leon Rodel Vaygan Richard Escoto Reil Cervantes Quezon City Capitals Pampanga Giant Green Lanterns Mindoro Tamaraws Mark Cruz John Tayongtong Jay-R Taganas Iloilo United Royals Byron Villarias Bulacan Kuyas Bataan Risers 2019-2020 MPBL Lakan Cup
Photo from MPBL

Streaks were stopped Saturday evening in the 2019-20 MPBL Lakan Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Gym.

None bigger than the Pampanga Giant Lanterns’ morale-boosting home win to snap the Bulacan Kuyas’ three-game winning streak, 69-63.

Pampanga, who ended their two-game losing skid, leaned on the inside-outside duo of Mark Cruz and Riel Cervantes.

Cruz, the NCAA Season 91 Finals MVP, strung together 14 points and 10 assists while Cervantes was a force inside with 14 points — including two treys.

Holding just a one-point lead late, Cervantes knocked down a big triple with 19 seconds left to hand Bulacan its second loss in three games.

Felix Apreku and Michael Juico also gobbled 11 boards each for Pampanga.

Dan Sara and Jay-R Taganas were at the forefront of the Kuyas’ attack with the former scoring a game-high 19 points while the latter tallying a double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds.

The Quezon City Capitals, on the other hand, gave the Iloilo United Royals their first-ever defeat in the national league, 84-80.

QC led by as much as 17 points in the final frame before Richard Escoto sparked a huge Iloilo rally to cut the lead down to just two with 21.8 seconds left.

Clark Derige knocked down two clutch free throws to seal off Iloilo’s stand.

John Tayongtong had 20 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals while Tonino Gonzaga added 13 points off the bench to even Quezon City’s slate to 2-2.

Escoto continued to rack up the numbers for Iloilo, finishing with 22 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Fellow frontcourt-mate Samboy De Leon chipped 17 markers and nine boards for the 2-1 Iloilo

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It was not just winning streaks that were halted as the Bataan Risers ended their two-game losing streak at the expense of the Mindoro Tamaraws, 97-87.

Byron Villarias knocked down five triples to end up with 19 points to even Bataan’s slate to 2-2. Sean Manganti continued his stellar play as well with 12 points, five rebounds, and four assists.

With Mac Baracael limited to just eight points and 11 rebounds, Rodel Vaygan and Sandy Cenal stepped up with the two finishing with 15 points each. Cenal also grabbed 15 boards.

However, the efforts of the two were not enough as Mindoro fell to 1-2.

The Scores:

First Game:

Quezon City 84 –– Tayongtong 20, Gonzaga 13, Santos 12, Mabayo 12, Barua 8, Black 6, Derige 4, Caranguian 4, Sison 3, Carongoy 2, Medina 0, Castro 0, Gadon 0.

Iloilo 80 — Escoto 22, De Leon 17, Mahari 9, Tamsi 8, Jeruta 8, Publico 6, Parker 4, Javelosa 2, Arambulo 2, De Joya 2, Gumaru 0, Pedrosa 0, Rodriguez 0, Sinco 0, Li 0.

Quarterscores: 27-25, 45-39, 69-60, 84-80.

Second Game:

Bataan 97 — Villarias 19, Manganti 12, Asistio 10, Villahermosa 10, Batino 9, Santillan 9, Najorda 8, Jaime 7, Castro 6, Presbitero 4, Reyes 3.

Mindoro 87 — Cenal 15, Vaygan 15, Abanes 12, Camacho 11, Brutas 9, Baracael 8, Mandreza 4, Ilarde 4, Saret 3, Cinco 2, Osicos 2, Bangeles 2, Astrero 0, Bolos 0, Matias 0.

Quarterscores: 25-20, 50-39, 81-64, 97-87.

Third Game:

Pampanga 69 – Cervantes 14, Cruz 14, Hernandez 12, Apreku 9, Juico 8, Maiquez 6, Thompson 2, Alberto 2, Gomez 2, Baltazar 0, Binuya 0, Fabian 0.

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Bulacan 63 – Sara 19, Alabaza 16, Taganas 10, Nermal 8, Capacio 5, Bonsubre 3, Dela Cruz 2, Siruma 0, Escosio 0, Diputado 0, Santos 0, De Mesa 0, Arim 0, Butron 0.

Quarterscores: 15-17, 29-27, 46-48, 69-63.