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MPBL: Rhaffy Octobre-led Batangas ends Pampanga’s 17-game winning streak

Rhaffy Octobre launched the lethal missiles as Batangas ended Pampanga’s dominant run, 95-92, in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season at the Batangas State University Gym in Batangas City on Thursday, which was filled with people.

The 6-foot-4 utility forward from the University of the Visayas and Padre Burgos, Southern Leyte, scored eight points for the Batangas City Embassy Chill Athletics, highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers. His performance powered them to victory over the Pampanga Giant Lanterns, who finally experienced defeat after 17 consecutive wins in the elimination phase of the 29-team tournament.

Octobre earned the best player honors for his clutch hits and a total of 19 points, narrowly surpassing Batangas’ top scorer, Levi Hernandez, who also finished with 19 points.

Juneric Baloria contributed 14 points, while John Ambulodto added 12 points, including a reverse lay-up in the final 20 seconds. Dawn Ochea sealed Batangas’ 14th win against 4 losses with two free throws, making it 95-89 with only 7.1 seconds left, before Kurt Reyson scored a triple for the final count.

Pampanga’s Encho Serrano recorded 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Justine Baltazar, the leading contender for the MVP title, posted 17 points, 22 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks.

Archie Concepcion contributed 15 points in the tightly contested game, which witnessed neither team taking a lead of more than 9 points, along with 21 lead changes and 14 ties.

In the first game of the triple bill, Makati dominated Sarangani, winning 115-88. Negros also triumphed over Bacolod, with a score of 102-88.

The games started an hour late at 5 p.m. due to traffic caused by floods, which affected league personnel and some teams coming from Metro Manila.

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Emman Calo scored 18 points, and four other players reached double digits as the Makati OKBet Kings boosted their playoff campaign with a 12-6 record.

Keith Agovida supported Calo with 15 points and 9 rebounds, followed by Billy Robles with 12 points and 9 rebounds, and Rob Celiz and RJ Ramirez with 11 points each.

The Negros Muscovados relied on Jason Melano’s 23 points and 11 rebounds to defeat the Bacolod Maskaras 102-88 in the Battle of Panay.

Jun Manzo contributed 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Bernie Bregondo scored 12 points and grabbed 8 boards for Negros, which caught up to their opponent at 7-12.

Despite Rommel Calahat’s impressive performance of 26 points and 13 rebounds, Sarangani slipped to an 8-11 record.

On Friday, the MPBL will take place at the FIloil Ecooil Centre in San Juan with a triple bill: GenSan versus Bicol at 4 p.m., Quezon City versus Rizal at 6 p.m., and Bulacan versus San Juan at 8 p.m.

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