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Batangas extends MPBL winning streak

Levi Hernandez displays his shooting form once again for the Batangas City Athletics.

Batangas stretched its winning run while General Santos regained traction in the OKBet-Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Fifth Season at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

The Batangas City Embassy Chill Athletics led throughout and bested the Sarangani Marlins, 63-56, while the GenSan Warriors routed Quezon City TODA Aksyon V Fresh, 118-77, in the round-robin elimination phase of the 29-team tournament.

Powered by Levi Hernandez and John Ambulodto, Batangas surged ahead, 31-12, before cruising to its fifth straight and a 16-4 record that pushed the Athletics on top of the South division with the Bacoor Strikers.

Hernandez wound up with 14 points, four rebounds and four assists while Ambulodto posted 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

John Rey Villanueva contributed nine points and six rebounds while Juneric Baloria added eight points and 13 rebounds that enabled the Athletics to rule the boards, 56-41.

The Marlins, who dropped to 8-13, got 11 points each from Rafael Are and John Carlo Escalambre and 10 from Alex Desoyo.

Held to a 23-23 count early in the second quarter, GenSan took control behind a drive by Nico Elorde and back-to-back lay-ups by Jervy Cruz and pulled away by as far as 116-73 en route to a 15-5 card, also in the South.

The Warriors drew 34 points, three rebounds and two assists from John Wilson, followed by Mark Cruz with 21 points, five rebounds plus five assists and Michael Alvarez with 14 points plus five rebounds.

Quezon City got 15 points each from Andre Flores and Martin Enriquez and 11 each from John Carlo Melegrito and Zeus Pedrosa, but still fell to 3-19.

Bacolod City subdued Valenzuela, 102-98, in the opener to climb to 9-12 and pull down its victim to 3-17.

Domark Matillano tallied 18 points for Bacolod, followed by John Cantimbuhan with 17 points, six rebounds, six assists plus two steals and Mark Sarangay with 14 points, 17 rebounds plus three assists.

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