Manila, Valenzuela prevail

September 30, 2018
Bong Nebrija
MMDA Special Operations Commander Bong Nebrija makes the ceremonial toss during the opening game in th eM-League Open at the Caloocan City Sports Complex yesterday. Aso in photo are Johnnel Bauzon of Caloocan and Arnold Gamboa of Valenzuela. M-League photo

MANILA, Valenzuela and Pateros hurdled their respective opponents to share the opening-day limelight in the Metro League Open basketball championships at the Caloocan City Sports Complex.

Manila  rode on the 1-2 punch of Jayford  Rodriguez and Almel Orquina  to bring down Marikina, 90-82, in  the  third and  final game of a  long  and  busy weekend in  the 10-team  tournament  presented by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in cooperation with the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

Rodriguez finished with 25 points on 11-of-19  shooting from the floor and 13 rebounds and Orquina added 21 points for the All Stars of coach Adoe  Salazar and consultant  Rene Baena.

Mark Neil Cruz also had a monster game with 12 points and a game-high 19 rebounds,  including 11 offensive.

Fancis Munsayac and Conrad Castillo paced the Shoelanders with 16 points apiece.

Valenzuela defeated Caloocan, 95-85,  behind the  33-point, 14-rebound  explosion  of veteran Erwin Sta. Maria, while Pateros nipped  Paranaque, 78-70, on Rickson Gerero’s 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.

Sta. Maria  made 15-of-26 shots in 28 minutes to lead the Gerry Esplana-coached  Workhorses, who also had  more  rebounds, 70-43, and   more  assists, 24-21, than the Supremos.

Reneford Ruaya added 16 points  and 12 rebounds, and Dan Natividad, John Tayongtong and Josiah Espala contributed 10 points apiece.

Johnnel Bauzon, MJ Enriquez, Kris Torrado and  Ismael Pacheco shared  scoring  honors for the  Supremos.

MMDA Special Operations Commander Bong  Nebrija, who represented MMDA Chairman Danny Lim,  made  the  ceremonial toss during the  colorful opening ceremony.

Nebrija was assisted by MMDA Sports Director Atty. Cris Sarruca  and  M-League tournament director Bonnie Tan, finance officer Waiyip Chong and commissioner Glen Capacio.

Aya Fernandez of Taguig was voted as  2018 M-League Best Muse.

A total of 10 cities divided into the North and  South Divisions are seeing  action in the one-and-a- half  month long tournament which has Spalding as the official  ball, Team Rebel Sports  as  the  official outfitter and Synergy 88, San Miguel Corp., World   Balance, Frabelle Foods, Summit  Mineral Water, AlcoPlus, Gerry’s Grill, Excellent Noodles, SM Supermalls and Nature’s  Spring  as  major sponsors.