San Juan hands Manila 1st loss in MBT, Mandaluyong wins back-to-back

San Juan used balanced firepower to bring down erstwhile unbeaten Manila, 102-93 while Mandaluyong defeated MMDA and Parañaque in back-to-back games as both teams climbed to the top of their respective divisions after Week 3 of 2017 MBT seniors competition at the San Andres Sports Complex in Malate.

Joshua Emmanuel Montero led four other players in double figures for San Juan, which broke the game wide open with a fiery third quarter performance at the San Andres Gym last Thursday en route to its third win in four matches.

San Juan grabbed the North Division lead in the tournament organized by the Metro Manila Sports Fest under the auspices of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Montero scored eight of his game-high 21 points in the third quarter, allowing San Juan to pull away in the 14-team tournament which has Mobile App ng Bayan” Barangay 143 as co-presentor, Synergy 88 as main sponsor and Spalding as official ball.

John Kenneth Zamora finished with 18 points, King Astrero added 13 points, Romeo Descarga had 11 points and Joshua Munsayac had 10 points to underscore the Whatta Whatta’s balanced offensive.

Aljeric Ramirez had 20 points and Alladin Sultan had 19 for Manila, which dropped into a three-way tie with Marikina and Quezon City with 2-1 records in the North Division of the tourney also sponsored by San Miguel Corp., World Balance and Higer Bus.

In the only other game Thursday,  Caloocan outsteadied Valenzuela, 90-87, to barge into the win column after two losses. Valenzuela dropped to 0-3.

Earlier in the week, Mandaluyong made it three wins in a row by routing MMDA 100-72 last Sunday at the Navotas Sports Complex, then defeated Parañaque 94-83 at the Makati Coliseum two days later for the solo lead in the South Division of this 24-and-under MBT second conference.

Against the Green Berets, Sandy Ceñal routed all guards thrown against him to score 31 points on 12-of-21 shooting, adding 14 rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes of action. Jonathan Boholano Jr. chipped in 19 points and 15 rebounds, Joseph Gabayni contributed 16 points, 17 rebounds and five assists while Cyrus Tabi had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Tigers of head coach Johnedel Cardel and assistant coach Albert Olaya.

Ceñal scored 12 points and Tabi had 11 of Mandaluyongs 34 second-quarter points that enabled  the Tigers to take control of the game after trailing 17-20 in the first period.

Makati also finally barged into the win column by downing Taguig 91-83 last Tuesday at the Makati Coliseum, ending a three-game losing skid to start the tourney.

Nino Romano was the top man for the Skyscrapers with 35 points on a  respectable  15-of-24 shooting from the field. Chris John Dabbay added 16 points and  Pat Jefferson Intia had 13 points for Makati, which kept the Generals at bay in all four quarters.

Dave de la Virgen paced Taguig with 14 points, followed by Miguel Gabriel Ramos with 13  and Barry Orodio with 12 points and 15 rebounds.