San Pablo, San Pedro make presence felt

SAN PABLO CITY — Home team San Pablo struck back and snapped a three-game losing streak by outlasting streaking Sta. Cruz, 98-95, to formalize its entry in the playoffs of Liga Laguna Season 3 at the NHA Basketball Court in Barangay Sto. Angel.

The Blue Steel-backed San Pablo team banked on the solid, all-around game of big man Neilmer Cabrillos, who came up with 32 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks as he completely shut down the basket in the crucial moments of the game to stop Sta. Cruz’s winning run.

“I just wanted to challenge every shot because it’s been a tightly-fought game,” said Cabrillos, whose inside presence instilled fear against Sta. Cruz.

Sta. Cruz, which was looking to secure a possible twice-to-beat berth, saw its four-game winning streak snapped and instead arranged a knockout duel with San Pablo in the quarterfinal round next week.
San Pablo’s exciting victory over Sta. Cruz nearly overshadowed Data Force San Pedro’s 128-96 demolition of Pakil in the other game.

Following its win, San Pedro formalized its hold of the No.1 seed and the twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinal round while waiting for the winner between San Pablo and Sta. Cruz in the knockout quarterfinal round.

Six players ended up in double figures for San Pedro led by Towp Mallari, who led the way with 19 markers on a steady 5-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc.

Other players who ended up in double figures for San Pedro were Ron Lester Guerrero (15), Cris Nava (14), Wendel Atas (12), Russel Lazatin (11), Sean Laban (10).

KDL Calamba completed the winning squad by surviving Cavinti, 111-106, as Reynald Quinto scored a season-high 39 points, including nine three-point shots.

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