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    Paolo Hubalde fights on, leads Valenzuela past Rizal in battle of also-rans

    Jan 18, 2020

    PAOLO Hubalde came up with a big game as Valenzuela put on a show for its home in their final home game in the MPBL Lakan Cup, beating Rizal, 81-77, in a battle of also-rans on Thursday.

    The 5-foot-11 Hubalde had 27 points, nine rebounds and four assists as Valenzuela notched its 11th win against 16 losses.

    With three games left in their stint, the 38-year-old Hubalde plans to continue pushing.

    "Importante sa amin yung laro kanina kasi yun ang tanging paraan na mabalik namin sa Valenzuelanos ang walang sawang suporta nila sa amin," said Hubalde.

    "Maraming nawala sa amin pero hindi nila kami iniwan."

    From July to late last year, the coaches that handled the team were Gerry Esplana to Demy Salenga to Ronjay Enrile then back to Esplana before settling for Enrile to close out their campaign.

    The uncertainties led to loss after loss for the Classic, eventually having their playoff dream crushed by Navotas last week, 83-88.

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    "Despite what happened sa amin, marami naman kami natutunan sa isa't isa lalo na ang team at management," said Hubalde.

    "Lagi ko nga sinasabi sa boys na kahit natatalo kami, 'Let's cherish every moment kasi yung journey namin as a team is a lesson in life and in basketball.'"

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    In the other games, Marikina dispatched Paranaque, 89-82, while playoff-bound Bataan beat Navotas, 81-78.

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