HAROLD Arboleda was flawless from the field on Tuesday night, powering the Parañaque Patriots-F2 Logistics to an 81-73 win over the Cebu Sharks-Casino Ethyl Alcohol in the MPBL Datu Cup at the Olivarez College Gym.
Arboleda made all of his seven attempts from the field - including five from rainbow territory - and finished with a career-high 26 points to go with 11 rebounds and six assists in leading the Patriots to a second successive win.
"Siguro maganda 'yung laro ko dahil na rin sa magandnag work ethic na ipinakikita ng mga kakampi ko," said Arboleda.
The Patriots struggled in the early going, trailing by as much as 15 points, 32-17, in the second quarter before their defense held Cebu without a field goal in a seven-minute stretch.
By halftime, Parañaque was only down by one and dragged Cebu into a tight contest all the way to the final quarter, where an 11-0 burst allowed the Pariots to pull away for good.
Earlier, Juneric Baloria and Daniel de Guzman returned to Parañaque and guided their new team, Pampanga, to an 81-80 squeaker over Bataan in the first game.
The two former stalwarts of the Patriots were key figures in the Lanterns' first win of the season.
Baloria, a deadshot shooting guard, knocked in 24 points while De Guzman, a hardworking forward, added eight markers and six boards.
Also playing a big role in Pampanga's win was Marlon Gomez, the undersized frontliner, who grabbed 13 boards.
The Lanterns booked their first win despite missing the services of ex-PBA players Jimbo Aquino and Mike Juico.
Aquino suffered a pulled muscle in his leg while Juico served a one-game suspension after getting ejected in his team's first game of the season.