Jaycee Marcelino dropped a triple-double to power Zamboanga to a 77-71 victory over Muntinlupa to advance to the semifinals of the OKBet-Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League 4th Season late Monday at the Batangas City Coliseum.
Marcelino fired 24 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists topped with six steals and two blocks to help Zamboanga hang tough down the stretch to pull off the victory in Game 2 of their best-of-three quarterfinal series.
Meanwhile, General Santos City stayed alive after booking a 77-72 win over Bacolod in their best-of-three quarterfinal showdown.
Nikko Panganiban carried the fight for the Warriors, who avenged their 77-81 loss in Game 1 to forge a sudden-death encounter next Monday.
Panganiban tallied 24 points, including the dagger three-pointer with 11.3 seconds left, six rebounds and two assists to earn best player honors.
Muntinlupa fought back from a 19-point deficit, 40-59, and threatened at 73-71 with only 56 seconds left.
But Ralph Tansingco canned his two charities while Marcelino’s twin brother, Jayvee, got freed for the final count.
With the win, Zamboanga will battle the survivor in the Bacolod-General Santos battle in the semifinals of the South Division.
Jhaps Bautista and Tansingco came through with 11 points apiece while Jayvee also put up an all-around show with 10 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Still smarting from a 50-79 loss in the series opener on 17 October, Muntinlupa played with a sense of urgency before closing out its campaign this season.
All-Star Biboy Enguio finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists for Muntinlupa, which also drew 16 points, four rebounds and four assists from Domark Matillano and 14 points and eight rebounds from Harold Arboleda.
Mac Montilla, despite playing with a pulled hamstring, chipped in three three-pointers for a nine-point performance.