BATAAN and Makati continue to sizzle in the MPBL Datu Cup, outlasting their respective foes at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig.
The Risers survived a do-it-all Cebu Sharks-Casino Ethyl Alcohol squad before preserving a 76-69 win in the first game. It was the eight straight win by Bataan as it extended the longest streak in the tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.
Ex-pro Byron Villarias came away with a rare double-double performance, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds. The cousin of NLEX Road Warrior rookie guard Kiefer Ravena was more active on crashing the boards to earn praise from his head coach Jojo Lastimosa.
Two more others finished in double figures for Bataan – Pamboy Raymundo with 12 and Jeepy Faundo with 10.
The Risers improved their win-loss record to 8-1 to gain solo lead in the team standings of the northern division.
Villarias’ double-double effort was overshadowed by Cedric Ablaza, who recorded another feat in powering the Makati Skyscrapers to a tense 67-64 triumph over the Valenzuela Classic-CDO Idol Cheesedog.
Ablaza ended up with 15 points and 10 boards, propelling the Skyscrapers to their second straight win and improved their record to 6-3.
The 6-foot-3 Ablaza joined forces with ex-pro Rudy Lingganay in scoring the last three points from the free throw line.
Valenzuela, which dropped to 2-7 and absorbed its fifth straight loss, had a chance to send the game to overtime, but Rocky Acidre’s triple failed to hit the mark in the last two seconds.