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MPBL: Agovida rallies Makati back, deals Pampanga second loss in stunner

Makati stunned Pampanga, 102-97, in overtime, while Caloocan rallied to nip Muntinlupa, 81-80, on Friday in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.

Keith Agovida scored six points for Makati OKBet’s 10-point comeback in the extension period, handing the Kings their 16th win against six losses in the round-robin elimination phase of the 29-team tournament.

On the other hand, Paul Sanga scored on a drive with 14 seconds left to complete Caloocan’s fightback from 13 points down in the fourth quarter and climb to 16-7.

Reliving his reputation as an explosive scorer, Agovida, the former NCAA Juniors Rookie of the Year who once scored a record 82 points for the Jose Rizal University Light Bombers, ended with 21 points and 7 rebounds to complement Emman Calo’s 31-point, 5-rebound effort, and Rob Celiz’s 20-point, 14-rebound, 4-assist output.

Agovida also forced the extension at 87-87 following a clutch triple with 53 seconds to go.

Pampanga, which absorbed only its second loss in 22 starts, was still ahead, 97-92, with 1 minute and 49 seconds left behind Justine Baltazar’s inside forays but went silent the rest of the way.

Baltazar registered his 21st-straight double-double with 31 points and 18 rebounds, along with 8 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks, but fellow offensive marvel Encho Serrano was held to 13 points, and he also missed two crucial free throws in the homestretch.

Trailing 67-75, Batang Kankaloo unleashed 13 points behind Gabby Espinas and Irven Palencia against a lone triple by Val Acuna to tie the count at 78.

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Ian Melencio made two free throws to restore Muntinlupa’s lead, but Palencia was able to split his two free throws before Sanga delivered the lethal basket, pushing Caloocan to 16-7.

Espinas emerged as Caloocan’s top performer with 13 points and 9 rebounds, while Acuna was the lone double-digit scorer for Muntinlupa, which fell to 12-9.

GenSan dumped Valenzuela, 109-86, and improved to 17-5 behind Kyt Jimenez’s triple-double and the sharpshooting of Mark Cruz and John Wilson.

Jimenez posted 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists to complement Cruz’s 26 points, highlighted by 6 triples, and Wilson’s 23 points, laced with 6 triples.

Valenzuela fell to 3-19 despite AJ Benson’s 28-point, 6-rebound, 4-assist effort.

The MPBL returns to the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Saturday with a triple bill pitting Quezon City against Iloilo at 4 p.m., Negros against Pasay at 6 p.m., and Zamboanga against San Juan at 8 p.m.

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