The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Datu Cup continued to hum along after its ninth week.
Only six games were played this week due to suspension of Saturday’s game schedules. Muntinlupa remained unblemished along with San Juan after beating Rizal, while Imus and Bataan tallied their second wins of the season.
STATLINE OF THE WEEK
Reed Juntilla, Zamboanga – It couldn’t be anyone else. He torched Navotas for 29 big points, grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds and dished out for assists to lead the Valientes to an 89-78 win over the Navotas Clutch.
Reed Juntilla, Zamboanga – Juntilla’s shot 13-of-18 from the field, which was enough to propel the team to its fourth win. They currently sit at fourth place with a 4-2 win-loss card.
Allan Mangahas, Muntinlupa – This guy continues to hike his game to another level after an impressive run in the Rajah Cup. He tallied his best scoring game (23 points on 9-for-17 shooting from the field) to help keep the Cagers undefeated (4-0).
Gary David, Bataan – ‘El Granada’ is here! David play his best game of the season, too, as he scored 21 points (8-for-11 from the field) in 22 minutes and knocked down five threes in the Risers’ blowout win over Quezon City, 101-68.
Felix Apreku, Muntinlupa – Apreku’s relentless work on the boards continues. He logged a 13-point, 18-rebound double-double as Muntinlupa beat Rizal, 84-80. The big man also had eight offensive rebounds.
Benzon Franco, Pasig – The Pirates are the only team left searching for a win in the Datu Cup. One of the their only bright spots, though, is the work of Franco. Alaska’s 2004 draft pick recorded his third-straight game with 10+ rebound as he grabbed a season-high 14 against Marikina.
Chito Jaime, Muntinlupa – Jaime conspired with Apreku to overwhelm the Crusaders on the boards. He corralled 13 of his own to go along with 16 points in the team’s victory.
Allan Mangahas, Muntinlupa – The Cagers’ offense continues to rely on Mangahas’ masterful playmaking. He handed out nine assists to lead the team to its fourth victory.
Hesed Gabo, Quezon City – His team lost by 33 points to Bataan, but you can’t say that the former Mapua Cardinal didn’t do his job. Gabo had eight assists against only one turnover in just 20 minutes.
Marlon Monte (Pasig Pirates) – John Raymundo (Bataan Risers) and James Darwin Castro (Imus Bandera) each had seven assists to pace their respective squads.
DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE
Warren Ybanez, Marikina – The former Coca-Cola draft pick recorded eight steals (that is not a typo) to lead the Shoemasters, who capitalized on the Pirates’ miscues to grab the victory.
Gerald Anderson, Marikina – Don’t underestimate this guy. The actor only scored a solitary point, but he showed off his defensive prowess by forcing three steals in Marikina’s victory.
Jomari Sollano, Imus – Sollano didn’t need to do a lot of scoring (four points) to make a huge impact. He had three steals to help the Bandera notch its second win of the season over a tough Makati side, 79-76.
James Mangahas, Makati – On the other side, Mangahas was effective in limited minutes (14). He had the same number of steals as Sollano (three), but the Skyscrapers dropped their first match of the season.
Jerome Juanico, Rizal – Save for Juanico’s three steals, there wasn’t anything else to be happy about for the team as the Crusaders slumped to their fifth loss in six games.
– Bataan’s 101 points were the second-largest scoring output of the season, just behind Manila Stars’ 107 points (in the team’s win against Cebu) back in July.
– JR Taganas (Bulacan) saw his double-digit rebounding streak end this week. He only played in 11 minutes, but he still managed to grab eight boards.
– Yves Sazon has yet to bounce back from his ongoing slump. He put up a measly 12 points (on 5-for-14 shooting), but at least this is a bit of an improvement from his last three games, where he went 8-for-41 from the field.
– Apreku leads the league in boards by a hefty margin. He’s averaging 15.5 rebounds — almost four more than the nearest competitor (Bacoor’s Mark Montuano has 11.6 per game).