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Pasig-Sta Lucia seals MPBL Pool A top seed, awaits San Juan or Nueva Ecija in QF


Pasig-Sta. Lucia clinched top seed in Pool A of the 2021 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Invitational while ending All-Star Bacolod’s hopes of advancing, taking a dominant 86-61 win, Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

By going 4-0 and beating Iloilo 90-69 last Monday, the Realtors will be the top team that will go out of their pool. They await the second seed of Group C which will either be San Juan or Nueva Ecija.

Bacolod, on the other hand, has the disadvantage in the tiebreakers as it lost to Iloilo (85-62) and Pasig. The Ballers finished their campaign with a 3-2 record.

“Sa tingin ko yung quarterfinals nandiyan na sa amin yun. Paghahandaan na lang namin yung makakalaban namin sa next round,” said Realtors head coach Bong Dela Cruz, who will be watching the Nueva Ecija-San Juan game on Sunday very closely.

Dominant were the Realtors from start to finish.

With the trio of Rudy Lingganay, Justin Arana, and Ryan Costelo leading the charge, Pasig-Sta. Lucia raced to a 20-9 start and never looked back.

Lingganay scored nine of his 16 points in the first quarter. The native of Zamboanga ended up shooting 6-of-8 from the field with four assists.

The Realtors’ lead went to as high as 28 points, 86-58, after an Erwin Van Pena trey with 39 ticks left.

“Yun yung pinaguusapan namin, yung mga bad starts namin nung first three games,” said Dela Cruz. “Kaya sabi ko, we need to start strong and finish strong at nagawa namin kanina.”

Jeckster Apinan got a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Arana tallied 13 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks. Ablaza also had 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and a steal.

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Arben Dionson was the only double-digit scorer for Bacolod with 10 points. Ichie Altamirano had eight rebounds and seven points while Kraniel Viloria scattered five points, six rebounds, and six assists.

Pasig plays its final game of the round on Monday against Negros.

The Scores:

Pasig-Sta. Lucia 86 – Lingganay 16, Apinan 14, Ablaza 13, Arana 13, Yu 7, Costelo 7, Bautista 7, Teng 3, Mina 3, Pena 3, Chan 0.

All-Star Bacolod  61 – Dionson 10, Baiquin 9, Gonzales 8, Altamirano 7, Caino 7, Viloria 5, Guillen 4, Pastias 3, Montuano 3, Tulipas 2, Soriano 2, Colonia 1.

Quarterscores: 27-13, 44-25. 64-46, 86-61.

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