Rizal XentroMall survived a fiery rally by Parañaque to prevail, 80-79, in the OKBet-Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Fifth Season on Thursday at the Olivarez College Gymnasium in Parañaque.
Trailing, 70-79, going to the last two minutes, the Parañaque Patriots bunched eight points, capped by Jielo Razon’s triple to come up with a serious threat.
Edgar Charcos then split two free throws to give Rizal a two-point lead, but Parañaque’s Keith Pido got fouled and also went to the 15-foot line with 10 seconds left.
Pido, who wound up with 15 points, made the first, but bungled the second, paving the way for Rizal’s fifth win in 14 games while pulling down the Patriots to 6-8 in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 29-team tournament.
Homegrown Troy Mallillin again led Rizal with 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks, followed by Michael Are with 13 points and Pido with 11.
Parañaque also got 15 points from Razon, all in the fourth quarter, 12 from Jayboy Solis and 11 from Pari Llagas.
Pasig City MCW Sports stunned the Bacoor City Strikers, 79-72, in an earlier encounter to climb to 9-5.
Ryan Paule Costelo shone for Pasig, which broke away at 35-51, with 26 points plus four rebounds and three assists.
He was backed by Pierce Tyron Chan with 17 points plus three rebounds and three assists, and Kenny Roger Rocacurva with 15 points plus eight rebounds.
Bacoor, which suffered only its second loss in 13 games, drew 19 points and nine rebounds from Mark Yee and 10 points from Yvan Ludovice.
As projected, San Juan trounced Bicol, 82-63, in the opener to rise to 8-3.
Former Mapua University star Adrian Nocum paced the San Juan Knights with 18 points, four rebounds and two steals, followed by Orlan Wamar with 13 points, eight assists and three steals.