THE Bataan Risers continued their winning ways in the MPBL Datu Cup, extending their streak to 12, the longest in the young history of the fastest growing regional amateur basketball league in the country.
Bataan gave Basilan a sound beating, 108-77, to keep a hold of the solo lead in the 26-team cast with a 12-1 win-loss slate.
But which team will continue its winning run this week?
On Wednesday, the Manila Stars-Robust Energy Capsule try to keep the streak going and extend it to five when they take on the Quezon City Capitals-Black Mamba Energy Drink in the main game at 9 p.m. at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao, Quezon City.
But this week isn’t just about keeping the winning run. It is also a battle for survival as teams from the bottom and right at the middle of the pack will try to bolster their respective chances in the tournament.
On Tuesday, the Pasay Voyagers will host the Mandaluyong El Tigre in the main game at 9 p.m. at the Cuneta Astrodome. The Voyagers are tied for seventh to eighth spots with the Navotas Clutch with identical 5-8 slates and a win will keep themselves in a better position for a playoff spot.
Snapping a five-game skid will be on the minds of the Dataland-backed El Tigre, who are in sixth spot carrying a 6-6 card in the tough northern division.
Two teams at the bottom of the standings — Valenzuela and Pasig — clash in the other game Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The Pirates are owners of the tournament’s worst record at 2-10 and time is running out on the squad. They need to get their acts together fast.
For the on and off Classic, they also need to make their move as they are currently on 10th spot and will be out of the running if ever the elimination round ends today.
But with a 4-9 card, the Classic can move up to ninth spot.
Survival will also be on the minds of the General Santos City Warriors and Rizal Crusaders, who are crossing paths on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
These two teams from the south are also at the lower half of the standings.
Rizal is the worst team in the southern division, carrying a 4-10 mark while General Santos City is not on the safest position either, being tied with the Zamboanga Valientes at eighth to ninth places with the same 5-7 cards.
On Thursday, four more teams will try to make their move.
The Valientes and the Caloocan Supremos, teams which are at the lower end of the standings, try to change their fortunes when they collide at 7 p.m.
The Bacoor Strikers play host against the Parañaque Patriots-F2 Logistics and these two teams will try to avoid dropping at the lower half of the standings.
Their 9 p.m. encounter could determine whether the Strikers could keep a hold of the third spot in the southern division or fall into a tie with the Batangas City Athletics-Tanduay at fourth spot.
The F2 Logistics-supported Patriots, on the other hand, are right at the middle of the pack, tied with the Laguna Heroes-Krah at fifth to sixth places at 7-7 mark.
On Saturday, San Juan, one of the top teams in the tournament, will try to solidify their hold of the no. 3 position in the northern division. The Knights, bankrolled by Go-For-Gold, hold an 11-3 record and could improve further with a win against the unpredictable Imus Bandera-GLC Truck and Equipment in their 7 p.m. encounter.
The Bandera, carrying a 6-6 slate, have a chance to move up right in fifth position with an upset victory over the Knights.
Cebu, which won its first home game last month, will shoot for a fitting follow up win and jostles for a position for the top eight when it takes on Laguna in the main game at 9 p.m.
With a 5-9 mark, the Casino Ethyl Alcohol-backed Sharks are still at No. 10 position, which means picking up a win in front of the Cebuano fans is necessary.
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