JERIC Teng has struggled all night long for the Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors, but Robbie Manalang and ex-pro Josan Nimes were able to step up big to carry their squad to a pulsating 77-72 win over the Bulacan Kuyas in the MPBL Lakan Season at the Olivarez College Gymnasium.
Home team Parañaque Patriots-Yabo Sports also got back on the winning track after hurdling Sarangani, 73-70, in the main game.
Teng was held down to just four points on a paltry 2-for-13 shooting from the field.
But while Pasig’s acknowledged top gun was silenced, Manalang and Nimes were able to pick up the slack.
Manalang knocked in 26 points, including a steady 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc as his explosive game more than made up for Teng’s sub-par showing.
Nimes also provided solid support, tallying 21 markers, allowing Pasig to improve its win-loss record to 12-7 and solidified its hold of the fifth spot of the northern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.
Parañaque faced a new look Sarangani squad, formerly known as SOCCSKSARGEN, whose majority members of the team were suspended.
But the Patriots were able to use their familiarity advantage to nip their rivals.
James Abugan had a breakout performance, finishing with 17 points and eight rebounds while Jemal Vizcarra added 13 and Vinnie Begaso chipped in 11 for the Patriots, who improved their win-loss record to 8-13, tied for 11th to 12th spots with the Quezon City Capitals in the northern division.