By: Justin Valencia
VALENZUELA relied on its steady free-throw shooting to hold off Nueva Ecija in overtime, 119-116, on Wednesday in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Lakan Cup at the San Andres Sports Complex.
Jaymar Gimpayan and Chris de Chavez calmly drained a pair of free throws each down the stretch to secure Valenzuela's third win in a row.
"We are happy that we won our third straight but we still have a lot of inconsistencies and we gave them too many fouls and turnovers," Valenzuela head coach Gerry Esplana said.
Valenzuela committed 34 fouls and had 23 turnovers.
De Chavez and Jason Varilla managed to split their freebies with less than six ticks left in the fourth quarter to send the game to extra period, 102-102.
Varilla led Valenzuela with 22 points and five assists while Paolo Hubalde and Onin Catacutan chipped in 18 points apiece.
Nueva Ecija dropped their third consecutive game after an opening win.
JR Cawaling paced Nueva Ecija with 20 points on a 3-of-15 shooting from the field.
VALENZUELA 119 – Varilla 22, Catacutan 18, Hubalde 18, Gimpayan 14, Ruaya 12, Mabigat 10, Asuncion 10, Thiele 6, Kalaw 4, De Chavez 3, Alcober 2, Andaya 0
NUEVA ECIJA 116 – Cawaling 20, Monte 18, Sarao 15, Gaco 14, Armenion 11, Llagas 10, Aquino 8, Dela Cruz 8, Celada 7, Singson 5, Delfinado 0, Guiyab 0
Quarters: 25-16, 47-38, 78-69, 102-102, 119-116