Bulacan posts 4th win in row; Parañaque picks up home victory

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PBA LEGEND Marlou Aquino has been proving to become the most seasoned “Kuya” among the members of the Bulacan quintet, which continued to roll in the ongoing MPBL-Anta Rajah Cup.

The Ligo Sardines-backed Bulacan Kuyas walloped the Valenzuela Classic-Yulz, 92-83, to extend their winning streak to four on Saturday night at the Olivarez Sports Complex in Parañaque City.

Now the hottest team in the tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with former PBA MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner, Bulacan’s four straight wins catapulted the squad in a three-way tie for second places along with its victim and the Quezon City Capitals-Royal Manila, all carrying 5-3 win-loss records.

“We’re now rediscovering our winning attitude,” said Bulacan coach Chris Baluyot, who guided the Kuyas to the preseason championship. “It would be difficult to have a losing skid, but our winning mentality in the preseason is back.”

JR Taganas and Stephen Siruma both played a career game in leading the Kuyas to their latest triumph.

The hard working, beefy front-liner finished with 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Mr. Siruma contributed 17 markers.

Mr. Aquino, the 6-foot-9, former Rookie of the Year, played quality minutes anew, scoring six points and blocking two shots.

Bulacan’s victory overshadowed Parañaque’s second win in a row.

The Gamboa Coffee-backed Patriots edged the Imus Bandera-GLC Truck and Services, 79-77, for their first home win.

The breathtaking, down-the-wire encounter that saw both teams exchanging leads six times had to be decided until the final buzzer sounded.

Orly Daroya’s tip-in had to be reviewed by game officials, but in the end, decided to nullified the basket as it came a split second late, allowing the Patriots to escape with the win. The loss was the sixth in eight games for the Bandera, who are now on the brink of elimination.

The Patriots got a big lift from ex-PBA players Harold Arboleda and Juneric Baloria in snapping the Bandera’s two-game run.

Mr. Arboleda, who played briefly for the NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA, came away with a double-double performance of 12 points and 15 rebounds, allowing the Patriots to notch their second consecutive win to forge a tie for sixth to seventh places with the Navotas Clutch-Big J Sports with the same 4-4 win-loss record.

Mr. Baloria, who played alongside Mr. Arboleda with the Perpetual Help Altas in the NCAA, contributed only five markers, but his go-ahead three-pointer in the 1:42 mark of the final period put the Patriots on top, 78-77.

Parañaque head coach Aric del Rosario, who used to handle Messrs. Arboleda and Baloria in the NCAA, was happy to see his old wards stepping up big.

The two hard-fought wins of Parañaque, according to Mr. Del Rosario, was a product of hardwork. — Rey Joble