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Makati, Pasig, Pasay shore up MPBL bids

Achie Inigo of Pasay wants to keep a hold of his team.

Makati, Pasig and Pasay got past their respective opponents on Tuesday and ramped up their drives to the playoffs in the OKBet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.

The Makati OKBet Kings clipped the Rizal XentroMall Golden Coolers, 81-73, and kept their distance from Pasig MCW Sports, which licked Iloilo, 75-63, and the Pasay Voyagers, who crushed the Bulacan Kuyas, 84-58, in the round-robin elimination phase of the 29-team tournament.

Toting 18 wins against seven losses, Makati has the inside track to finish within the top four of the North division.

Pasig lurks behind with an 18-8 record, while Pasay is giving a chance with a 15-9 mark.

The top four teams of both the North and South divisions will have the homecourt edge in the best-of-three quarterfinals.

Bunching 12 points behind Rob Celiz and Billy Robles, Makati pulled away at 70-53 to oust Rizal, which fell to 11-14.

Celiz wound up with 27 points, four rebounds, two assists and two blocks, followed by Robles with 11 points and 13 rebounds for Makati, which will be facing Pasay, Batangas and Imus in its remaining elimination games.

Rizal got 16 points each from Jeric James Pido and Edgar Louie Charcos and 12 from Troy Mallillin.

Pasig drew power from Robbie Manalang with 18 points plus seven assists, Ryan Paule Costelo with 15 points plus four rebounds, Kenny Roger Rocacurva with 12 points, 10 rebounds plus five assists, and Rey Anthony Peralta with 11 points.

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