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Parañaque spoils late Manila rally

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF MPBL JIELO Razon (left) attacks his way to a 25-point performance during the Parañaque Patriots’ 82-78 victory over Manila SV Batang Sampaloc in the MPBL Sixth Season late Tuesday.

The Parañaque Patriots surged ahead in the second quarter then weathered a fiery comeback by Manila SV Batang Sampaloc to prevail, 82-78, in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Sixth Season on Tuesday at the Villar Coliseum in Las Piñas.

Riding the hot hands of Jielo Razon and the all-around play of veteran Mark Yee, Parañaque erected a 52-29 spread which buffered the Patriots from the Batang Sampaloc’s fiery fourth quarter rally.

Tagged the underdog, Parañaque drew inspiration from Rizal XentroMall which toppled defending national champion Pampanga, 78-71, earlier.

Razon fired 25 points, spiced by five triples, and grabbed eight rebounds, while Yee, rejuvenated by the three-month break, tallied 18 points, including two triples, snagged 18 rebounds and blocked two attempts for the Patriots of coach Michael Saguiguit.

John Rey Villanueva also shone for Parañaque with 15 points and six rebounds and so did Paul Sarao with eight points and four rebounds, John Uduba with seven points and eight rebounds, and Philip Manalang with 11 assists and two points.

Manila rallied in the fourth quarter behind Carl Bryan Cruz but fell short as Razon and Sarao joined forces to quell the uprising.

Cruz, Filipino-American DJ Mitchell and Ahmad Didat Hanapi scored 13 points each for Manila, which also got 10 points from Pao Javelona.

Trailing by as far as 13-32, Rizal tied Pampanga at halftime, 38-38, then controlled the rest of the way to join the ranks of the early leaders in the 30-team league

Feeling the absence of reigning MPBL Most Valuable Player Justine Baltazar, who showed up in street clothes, the Giant Lanterns fell behind, 64-74, in the fourth quarter from which they were unable to recover.

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