GABAYNI-LED MANDALUYONG GRABS SHARE OF SOUTH DIVISION LEAD

Games Tuesday, Sept. 26 ‘17 (Makati Coliseum)

6:00 p.m. Mandaluyong vs. Parañaque

7:30 p.m. Makati vs. Taquig

Former PBA D-League player Joseph Gabayni came up with another monster game of 20 points and 17 rebounds as Mandaluyong demolished MMDA 100-72 last Sunday at the Navotas Sports Complex and grabbed a share of the South Division lead in the Metro Basketball Tournament (MBT) seniors competition, which forms part of the Metro Manila Sports Fest under the auspices of the Metro Manila Development Authority.

The Tigers, who have won their first two games by an average margin of 24.0 points, thus improved to 2-0, the same record as Las Piñas, and will go for the solo lead when it takes on fellow unbeaten Parañaque in the resumption of the games Tuesday at the Makati Coliseum in this PBA-backed tourney which has “Mobile App ng Bayan” Barangay 143 as co-presentor,  Synergy 88 as main sponsor and Spalding as official ball.

Mandaluyong, which led by as much as 30 against the BlackBerets, battles the Green Berets in the 6 p.m. first game to be followed by the 7:30 p.m. second game where host Makati is hoping to finally nail a first win after a 0-2 start against fellow winless squad Taguig (0-1).

Gabayni had 17 points, 15 rebounds and four shotblocks when the Tigers beat Makati two Sundays ago for their first win,

In other games last Sunday, Marikina, Quezon City and San Juan all recorded victories over separate opponents to create a three-way jogjam for second place in the North Division, improving to 2-1 win-loss records behind division leader Manila (2-0) in this MBT second conference which also has San Miguel Corporation, World Balance and Higer Bus as major sponsors.

Kyle Dominique Tolentino scored on the second of his five league tournament-best five triples which triggered a 9-0 run that enabled the Shoelanders to turn an 11-12 deficit into a 20-12 lead they would never again relinquish, winning over Caloocan in the end, 92-79.

The Supremos, who had only one player scoring in double figures in Emmanuel Padernos (24), dropped to 0-2.

Tolentino finished with 20 pts, which was matched by Felix John Villarente, as the 16-and-under champions, who led by as much as 20 en route to its second straight win after an opening day 79-72 loss to Manila in this tourney which is also supported by Excellent Noodles, Nature’s Spring Water, 1-Pacman Partylist, Hopewell Sales Corp., Gatorade, Star Bread, Frabelle Foods, Regan Industrial Sales, Inc., Glitter.ph, Alcoplus, Primadonna and Archie’s Bespoke Bar + Grill, Navotas.

Jefferson Comia and John Kenneth Cortez had four points apiece when Quezon City outscored Vakenzuela 20-6 in the final 3:40 of the third period to break out of the game’s final deadlock of 45-all, take the lead for good en route to a 92-75 win.

Comia finished with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds while adding two assists, two steals and two shotblocks in 25:43 minutes for the Stars which headed into the final quarter with a 65-51 lead before pouring it on and even leading by as much as 74-55.

Quezon City, which had four others scoring in double figures led by Mikhael Justin Salazar’s 16, also registered a second straight win after a heartbreaking opening day 92-91 overtime loss to San Juan on a buzzer-beating triple by Whatta Whatta’s Kenneth John Zamora.

Zamora continued with his three-point shooting accuracy, going 4-of-10 from three-point range for a team-best 14 points as San Juan came from behind to beat Navotas 89-84.

The Whatta Whatta were down 78-71 with eight minutes left when Zamora scored on a triple, igniting an 18-6 wind-up where Josh Emmanuel Montero also had eight of his 13 points and Julian Lugo five of his 10 points for the game.

Kyles Nichole Marquez led Navotas with his 15 points but was held by San Juan scoreless in the fourth period.

The tournament format has a single round-robin affair per division for a total of six games per team in the classification phase. The top ranked team in both divisions will advance to the semifinals outright and while the No. 2 teams will have twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

The quarterfinals will be 2-vs-7, 3-vs-6 and 4-vs-5 affairs for each division with the winners advancing to the semifinals, the two winners in the semis battling for the division championship in a winner-take-all affair and the division champs figuring in a best-of-3 series for the overall Metro championship.

Aside from the Makati Coliseum and Navotas Sports Complex, other venues for the games are the San Andres Sports Complex, the Hagonoy Sports Complex in Taguig (formerly the CP Tinga Gym), and the Paranaque Sports Complex.

Games are live through the MBT’s Facebook page, Metro Manila Sports Fest, where the league, according MBT Commissioner Pido Jarencio, has already breached more than 400,000 total viewers in just six gamedays of action.

Livestats links of the games, team standings and conference stats leaders can be accessed through http://mmsf.web.geniussports.com/ and/or www.mbt.ph. (Fidel Mangonon III)