Caloocan relied on Jeramer Cabanag’s hot hand to edge out Negros, 84-82, on Wednesday in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
Cabanag sank three of his five three-point shots, including the game-decider in the fourth quarter, scoring a total of 19 points.
This victory gave Batang Kankaloo their ninth win against four losses in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 29-team tournament.
Negros took the lead, 82-81, after Pao Javelona’s three-point play with 1 minute and 29 seconds remaining, but failed to score for the rest of the game while Cabanag turned the tide with a three-pointer just 16 seconds later.
Veterans Paul Sanga and Reil Cervantes contributed 15 and 11 points, respectively, to support Cabanag.
Negros, now at 4-9, held a 49-39 lead in the third quarter, but Caloocan narrowed the gap to 59-63 with Sanga’s 10 points during that period.
Jason Melano, who missed a potential game-tying drive in the final seconds, scored 18 points, followed by Javelona with 16 for the Muscovados.
In an earlier match, Imus SV Squad squandered a 40-20 advantage but managed to hold on for a 61-58 victory against Iloilo United Royals.
Carlo Lastimosa stood out with 15 points for Imus in their fifth win out of 12 games, and Jaymar Gimpayan contributed 10 points and 16 rebounds. Iloilo, now at 5-8, received 12 points from Tony Ynot and 11 from CJ Catapusan.
In the opener, Valenzuela XUR Homes Realty Inc. shut out Laguna Krah Asia in the final three minutes while scoring 10 points to secure a stunning 73-69 win.
Jerome Ortega led Valenzuela’s surge by scoring all of his 10 points in the fourth quarter, while Luis Tapenio, a homegrown player, recorded 15 points and 8 rebounds.
This victory improved Valenzuela’s record to 2-11, while Laguna dropped to 3-11, despite Kenneth Acibar’s 15 points, including 11 consecutive points at the start of the fourth quarter.
On Thursday, the MPBL will visit the Olivares College Gymnasium for a triple-header, featuring games between San Juan and Bicol at 4 p.m., Bacoor and Pasig City at 6 p.m., and Rizal and Paranaque at 8 p.m.