ZAMBOANGA CITY — Zamboanga survived General Santos City’s final assault to book a thrilling 75-73 victory in the OKbet-Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League late Tuesday at the jampacked Mayor Vitaliano Agan Coliseum here.
Ahead by eight points, 73-65, with less than four minutes left, Zamboanga watched the Warriors storm back, 75-73, behind the hot hands of Mark Cruz and Nico Elorde.
The Warriors, which trailed by as many as 17 points in the second quarter, even had the chance to send the game into overtime but Elorde and Dhon Reverente missed the potential game-tying jumpers in the final 12 seconds that sent the Valientes to their 14th win in 17 matches.
The Warriors, who are already assured of a quarterfinal slot, skidded to 12-6 in the single round robin eliminations of this 22-team tournament.
Zamboanga found a new idol in Jaycee Marcelino, who drilled in 22 points on 9-of-10 field goal shooting on top of seven rebounds rebounds.
Nico Elorde again led the Warriors’ offense with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists, followed by Cruz with 12 and Reverente with 10.
Homegrown actor Gerald Anderson chipped in eight points for GenSan.
In other games, Batangas subdued Muntinlupa, 85-81, while Sarangani clobbered Manila, 74-55.
The Athletics banked on Cedrick Ablaza, Levi Hernandez and Jeremy Cruz to clinch their 16th victory in 18 matches.
Ablaza fired 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists to complement the 18-point effort of Hernandez and 12-point performance of Jeremy Cruz.
Muntinlupa slid to 3-14 despite the 24-point, seven-rebound effort of Domark Matillano and the 12-point, 10-rebound line of Harold Arboleda.