GenSan Warriors sustain rise; Caloocan, Laguna tame rivals –

The General Santos Warriors sustained their rise with a 96-87 victory over the Muntinlupa Cagers late Saturday in the OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) 4th Season Presented by Xtreme at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
GenSan stormed ahead, 40-19, before going to cruise mode and securing its fifth straight win and a 9-5 slate in the single round-robin elimination phase of the 22-team tournament.
Mark Cruz, the smallest guy on the court at 5-foot-6, played the biggest role for the OKbet-supported Warriors with a game-high 29 points, 8 assists and 3 rebounds.
Other Warriors who delivered were Dhon Reverente with 16 points and 12 rebounds, Nico Elorde with 13 points and 6 assists and Nikko Panganiban with 12. Actor Gerard Anderson also did his part with 7 points in 13 minutes of action.
The Muntinlupa Cagers slid to 2-9 despite the 27-point, 10-rebound output of Harold Arboleda, the 14-point, 6-rebound, 5-assist contribution of Domark Matillano and the 14-point, 10-rebound line of John Cantimbuhan Jr.
Other games saw Caloocan Victory Liner dominates Manila Stars, 80-69, and Laguna Krah Asia subdues Mindoro, 82-74, in a battle of also-rans.
In climbing to 2-8, the Caloocan Excellence drew power from Damian Lasco with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists and 14 points each from James Martinez and Buenaventura Raflores, who also snagged 7 rebounds.
The Stars, who got 17 points and 18 rebounds from Ronnie Mathias, skidded to 6-10.
Laguna, which improved to 2-12, drew 20 points from Mico Bren Pallares, 15 from Paolo Pontejos and 11 each from Floyd Dedicatoria and Darius Duane Estrella.
Mindoro (1-14) got 20 points each from Drake Santos and Marlon John Espiritu and 12 from Khen Osicos.

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