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Makati ties MPBL streak record; QC scores crucial home win

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MANILA — The Makati Skyscrapers equaled the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) record for the longest winning streak after trouncing the Biñan Heroes, 76-65, at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City on Wednesday night.

The Skyscrapers stifled the Heroes in the first half, limiting them to just 22 points, nine in the first quarter, while opening a lead as much as 21.

Biñan put up two comeback bids in the second half, one in the third quarter and another in the fourth, but Makati weathered both rallies and even countered them to seal the win.

John Rey Villanueva made 22 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and four steals for the now 20-4 Skyscrapers, who have won 14 straight games, tying the current record held by the Bataan Risers.

The win also moved them one full game ahead of the Manila Stars and the San Juan Knights for second place in the Northern Division.

Jeckster Apinan added 15 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, and one steal, while Ced Ablaza and Joseph Sedurifa each made 10 markers.

Makati can set the new MPBL record with a win against Quezon City, 80-71 winner over Imus in the second game, on Monday night.

Michael Mabulac made 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting, 15 rebounds, one assist, four blocks, and two steals for Biñan, which finished its regular season stint at 10-15.

Despite the loss, the team remains a half-game behind Imus for the eighth place in the Southern Division following the latter’s loss in QC.

The Quezon City Capitals created a needed room in the playoff race after beating the Imus Bandera at home.

Behind double-doubles from Jay Collado and Hesed Gabo and a perfect field goal game from Mon Mabayo, QC scored a crucial win against Imus that moved them to the cusp of making a playoff return.

The Capitals were efficient on both ends of the floor in the first half, limiting the Bandera to only 13 first quarter points before erupting for 27 in the second to take a 43-34 halftime lead.

Imus, however, fought back in the third period, even tying the game, 57-all, late in the period.

QC answered with a 12-2 run to reopen a 10-point cushion, 69-59, with 5:53 left in the fourth quarter.

The Bandera made one final push, trimming the lead down to four, 72-68, with 2:22 to play, but the Capitals responded with an 8-1 run to pull away for good.

Collado and Gabo each scored 14 points for QC, which moved back to sixth place in the North at 11-11.

Collado grabbed 11 rebounds alongside two assists and one block, while Gabo dished out 11 assists with two boards.

Mabayo went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and finished with 13 points along with six assists and one steal.

The team can barge their way back to the playoffs as soon as Monday night at the Valenzuela City Astrodome if it can snap Makati’s winning streak.

Jonathan Rivera fired 19 points, four rebounds, and four assists for Imus, which fell to 9-13, dropping its fifth consecutive game.

The team, however, still has three games left, including clashes against Basilan and Mandaluyong. PNA