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Paranaque halts their three-game losing skid against Navotas
by Eugene Flores, July 11, 2019 1:06pm
The Parañaque Patriots stopped their three-game losing skid after holding off the Navotas Uni-Pak Sardines, 82-71, in front of their home crowd on Wednesday night in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League at the Olivarez College Gymnasium.
Team captain Jemal Vizcarra carried the Patriots with 20 points and two assists, with timely buckets down the stretch to secure the victory while Kervin Lucente had a double-double performance of 11 points and 10 boards.
Playing their first home game this season, Parañaque came out with great intensity. James Patrick Abugan's three-point play bannered an early 20-point lead for the Patriots before ending the half at 49-32.
It was again a 20-point game midway through the third before the Uni-Pak Sardines started to knock on the door via a 7-0 run. An Eric Miraflores three to end the quarter gave them the momentum going to the fourth, 54-67.
John Meligrito's lay-up cut the deficit to a single digit for Navotas, 62-71, before he was thrown out at the 5:49 mark of the final canto on an unsportsmanlike foul. The referees called the infraction after Melegrito hit Keith Pido in the face, resulting to a cut on the mouth.
But as the game began to heat up, a cat entered the court at the 4:51 mark, running around the slippery court floor looking for an exit, halting the game for a while as it drew cheers from the Paranaque crowd.
Navotas then capitalized on a 6-1 run that included a Jhong Bondoc lay-up, 69-73, the closest they reached.
But Vizcarra was cold-blooded in the waning moments with his personal five straight points, knocking down first a crossover pull-up.
Bondoc though refused to go down as he answered on a turnaround basket the following play before Vizcarra hit once again on a hand-off triple that sent the crowd into a frenzy, 79-71, with 2:08 minutes remaining.
Rene Banzali's layup via Joshua Almajeda's assist and a free-throw formally ended their drought, 82-71.
Allan Evangelista and Miraflores chipped away 12 and 10 points for Navotas in a wasted effort.
The Patriots are now have a 2-3 win-loss record while the Uni-Pak Sardines went down to 1-2.
Paranaque will go against the Muntinlupa Cagers next on July 16 while Navotas will try to sneak one on the road against the home team Bataan Risers on July 17.
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