Mangahas, Jaime fuel Muntinlupa victory
Veterans Allan Mangahas and Chito Jaime shone the brightest as Muntinlupa toppled San Juan, 77-71, in a battle of powerhouse teams in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League at a jampacked Muntinlupa Sports Complex.
Proving his worth as one of the league’s top guards, Mangahas fired 21 points, while Jaime hit 17 on four triples—all coming in the second half—as the Cagers, feeding off the energy from the home crowd, rallied from 20-point deficit in the second half to emerge as the only undefeated side in the 26-team league.
The Cagers, who lead the South Division with a 5-0 record, also got solid contributions from Felix Apreku, Dave Moralde and Don Reverente, whose triple gave Muntinlupa a 73-68 lead with 58 seconds remaining.
“We just didn’t want to lose in our home court,” said Mangahas in Filipino. “We owe the fans a good performance for showing up tonight.”
The Knights pulled within three, 71-74, after three foul shots by John Wilson, but Jaime buried a triple with eight seconds remaining to seal Muntinlupa’s fifth win.
Earlier, Imus drew strength from Genmar Bragais as it notched back-to-back wins at the expense of Valenzuela-Idol Cheesedogs, 81-71.
Bragais scored on a wide array of drives and fast break layups to finish with 20 points, while Ian Melencio had an all-around game of eight points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Bandera, who climbed to 3-3 in the North division.
Coming off a 30-day layoff, Valenzuela groped for form as Paolo Hubalde and top gunner Chris De Chavez were neutralized by the Bandera defense.
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