ZAMBOANGA and Marikina scored big wins on Thursday night to boost their respective chances in the MPBL Datu Cup at the Pasig Sports Center.
The Valientes demolished home squad Pasig Pirates, 92-78, to improve to 3-2 (win-loss) while Marikina pulled off a hard-earned 78-74 win over the Quezon City Capitals-Black Mamba.
Ex-pro Reed Juntilla again led the Valientes with 23 points and three steals while former Perpetual Help star Noy Javier chipped in 15 markers. Former Kia guard Jonathan Parreno added 11.
Das Esa, the Tausug cage hero, scored 10 off the bench in what was easily his most productive game for the Valientes, who dedicated the win to the fire victims of their neighboring province in Jolo, Sulu.
Earlier, celebrity baller Gerald Anderson went scoreless in his debut, but the rest of the Shoemasters picked up the slack on the way to the win over Quezon City.
Former Mapua standout Erwin Sta. Maria had 22 points and 12 rebounds to help the Shoemasters (2-3) end a three-game losing skid. He was backed up by Ronald Roy, who tallied 19.
Quezon City fell to 1-3 card and lost Jay Collado, who had to be taken out due to a sprained ankle and didn’t return.
Action in the MPBL Datu Cup resumes on Saturday at the Navotas Sports Complex as Imus and Bataan square off in the first game at 7 p.m.. It will be followed by the main encounter between host team Navotas and Muntinlupa at 9 p.m.