Zamboanga Family’s Brand Sardines relied on twins Jayvee and Jaycee Marcelino to defeat Imus SV Squad, 71-54, on Thursday in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The Marcelinos outscored the entire SV Squad, 26-20, in the second half, which proved to be more than enough to secure Zamboanga’s 9th win against two losses in the single round-robin eliminations of the 29-team tournament.
In a rare instance where he outshone Jaycee, the reigning MPBL MVP, Jayvee fired a game-high 18 points, 14 of which came in the last two quarters, while Jaycee contributed 14 points, with all but two coming in the same timeframe.
With the victory, Zamboanga remained within reach of the league leaders Nueva Ecija (11-0), Pampanga (10-0), and Bacoor (10-1).
Jayvee also recorded 6 rebounds and 3 steals, earning him the best player honors at the expense of Jaycee, who added 5 rebounds and 4 assists for Zamboanga, the 2023 MPBL Preseason Invitational champion.
Dexter Maiquez provided additional support with 10 points and 5 rebounds as Zamboanga rallied back from a 30-43 deficit early in the third quarter.
Imus, on the other hand, received 12 points from Johnsherick Estrada, 9 points from Carlo Lastimosa, and 8 points from Marc Pingis, but fell to a 4-7 record.
In other games, Rizal Xentromall defeated Oriental Mindoro, 75-68, while Marikina overcame Negros, 69-58.
Felipe Chavez led the Shoemasters with 18 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Jason Strait with 15 points and 6 rebounds,
Marwin Dionisio with 12 points, and Jason Opiso with 9 points and 11 rebounds. The Negros Muscovados dropped to 4-8, with only Jason Melano and Bernie Bregondo scoring in double digits with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The Rizal Golden Coolers received contributions of 14 points and 6 rebounds from Art Patrick Aquino, 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists from Edgar Charcos, and 12 points and 12 rebounds from Troy Mallillin, improving their record to 4-9.
The Mindoro Disiplinados, despite Agem Miranda’s 25-point, 11-rebound, and 7-assist performance, fell to 2-10.
On Friday, the MPBL will visit the Bacoor Strike Gym, featuring Bicol against Laguna at 4 p.m., Bulacan against Iloilo at 6 p.m., and Bulacan testing Bacoor at 8 p.m.