by Yves Santos
The Metropolitan Basketball League has just reached the final week of the elimination round. And with the final four cast already set, the teams played as if they are warming up for bigger wars ahead.
In the first game of the day, Pasig Smashers took on the undefeated Plunge. Buoyed by Vergara’s 34 points and some help from his teammates, Pasig Smashers outlasted Plunge, 77-69, allowing them to enter the semifinals on a high note.
In the second game, Southern Cross locks horns with PH Avengers. It was Southern Cross who showed that they are ready for the bigger challenges the playoff brings, running over the PH Avengers with the score of 89-63. Raymond Arcon led the way with 25 points and 15 rebounds.
Raymond Arcon of Southern Cross was named player of the week, notching 25 points and 15 rebounds in their convincing win over PH Avengers.
The Metro East Hoops Gold Division has just entered the 4th week of its elimination round. With only 2 games on hand for all 6 teams, they know that the time is now to make their move up the standings.
Aga.ph won over Congen 114-103 behind MVP frontrunner Chris Baarde’s efforts. Baarde scored 44 points, 23 of them coming in the 2nd quarter, and added 10 rebounds in another dominating performance.
Meanwhile, Tanduay Hoyas used a searing 1st quarter to create early separation, and then relying on their defense to hold off Zone XII All-Stars, 78-57. Valentino led the Hoyas’ balanced attack with 18 points and 5 rebounds.
Bratpack continued their winning ways, staying undefeated after walloping Arnel & Cel Meat Shop, 107-82. Justin Angel led the way with 20 points and 11 rebounds, 14 of them scored during their critical 4th quarter run.
Chris Baarde of Aga.ph was named best player of the week for Metro East Hoops Gold Division, leading Aga.ph to a statement victory over Congen with his 44 points and 10 rebounds.
It is only the 2nd week of the elimination round for the Hoops Army Corporal Division, but all teams have showed up ready for battle, understanding that in this season’s format, every game counts.
In what was easily the game of the day, Foggoat Vape Shop and Pines Royale tangled in a closely contested affair. Foggoat escaped with a 77-76 victory, thanks to Ralf Dimaala’s 25 points.
In the second game, Narcos was able to hold off a game Hoopstown team, with the score of 98-94. Narcos’s RJay Alvaran had his handprints all over the game, finishing with team-highs of 17 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals.
In the last game of the day, En Route dismantles cold-shooting Hoops I Did It Again, 70-52. Balag led the way for En Route with his 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists.
RJay Alvaran of Narcos won best player of the week honors, with his 17-point, 11-rebound effort in their win against Hoopstown deemed as the standout performance for this week’s Hoops Army action.