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Val City-MJAS Zenith ends MPBL Invitational campaign on a high

Val City-MJAS Zenith ended its Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational campaign on a high note, eking out a 77-73 win against fellow also-ran Sarangani, Saturday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Val City capped off the MPBL Invitational with a 2-2 standing in Pool C while Sarangani ended with a 1-3 slate.

“Yun naman yung una kong sinabi sa kanila na yung positive iiwan namin ng maganda dito sa tournament na ‘to. Sana may nagain kaming magandang experience and learnings,” said Val City head coach Ronjay Enrile.

With the Marlins knocking to within three, Patrick Cabahug nailed a three-pointer with 1:48 left to stretch the lead to six, 77-71, and keep Sarangani at bay.

Kevin Villafranca posted 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting to go along with four blocks, and three rebounds for Val City.

Patrick Cabahug added 13 points, five assists, and five rebounds while Robbi Darang had 12 points and six rebounds

“We dedicate this game to their families kasi alam naman natin most of our players are from Cebu, from Leyte, so sabi ko sa kanila yun na lang yung motivation at least kahit di niyo sila nacocontact pag nabalitaan nila na nanalo kayo masaya na sila doon,” he added as Typhoon Odette ravaged the region.

Gabby Espinas led the Marlins with 17 points and nine rebounds.

Regie Basibas chipped in 13 points and 14 boards while Marvin Lee also finished with 13 points along with five assists.

San Juan (3-0) already clinched the first semifinals seat in the group yesterday while Nueva Ecija (2-0), who took out both Sarangani and Valenzuela in their previous matches, bagged the second spot.

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Muntinlupa, who stands at 0-3, is at dead-last in the pool.

The Scores:

Val City-MJAS Zenith (77) – Villafranca 20, Cabahug 13, Darang 12, Ugsang 10, Delator 8, Elmejrab 6, Bauzon 3, Roncal 2, Cachuela 2, Armenion 1, Moralde 0, Cahigas 0.

Sarangani (73) – Espinas 17, Lee 13, Basibas 13, Sta. Ana 11, Monteclaro 8, Acosta 3, Sanga 3, Munsayac 1, Bautista 0.

Quartercores: 21-21, 47-39, 64-54, 77-73.

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