Crucial MPBL matches: Bataan meets Mandaluyong, Valenzuela takes on Bulacan

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Games Tuesday (Valenzuela Astrodome

7 p.m. – Bataan vs Mandaluyong
9 p.m. – Valenzuela vs Bulacan

TWO teams will be battling for survival while two others are looking to improve their standings ahead of the playoffs on Tuesday’s double header of the MPBL Datu Cup at the Valenzuela Astrodome.

Bataan battles Mandaluyong in the 7 p.m. encounter, with both of them having different agendas.

For the Zetapro-backed Risers, getting their 20th win in 22 games will not only solidify their hold of the No. 1 spot in the tough northern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.

With teams like Manila and Makati breathing down its neck, Bataan will need to win against Mandaluyong to gain more cushion.

Manila is currently in second spot with a 19-4 record, while Makati carries an 18-4 slate and are on the crest of an amazing 12-game winning run in this tournament also supported by LGR, the official outfitter of the MPBL.

Getting the No. 1 spot at the end of the elimination round would guarantee Jojo Lastimosa home court advantage in all of the phases in the playoffs.

Survival will be the name of the game for the El Tigre of Mandaluyong. With an 8-13 card, Mandaluyong is in ninth spot and a win can push the squad further and put the team back in strong contention for a top eight berth.

Valenzuela and Bulacan face off in the main game at 9 p.m., with each one of them looking to win to boost their respective chances.

Bulacan is already out of the running for a top four berth and won’t enjoy home court advantage even if it has already secured a playoff spot. But the Mighty Sports-backed Kuyas don’t want to fall deeper in the tough northern division where they will be forced to play against the top teams.

The Kuyas are carrying a 13-9 win-loss slate.

For the Classic, they need to win all their remaining games to catch the  last bus to the quarterfinal round. They are currently at the 11th spot in the tough northern, holding an 8-14 mark.

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