Quezon Province overcame stiff resistance from Mindoro before prevailing, 85-80, on Saturday to gain a share of the top spot in the OKBet-Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Season 5 at the Bataan People's Center in Balanga, Bataan.

Ximone Sandagon (5) topscores for Quezon Province with 17 points in the game against Mindoro on Saturday in the MPBL. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The Quezon Huskers posted their second straight win to tie the idle Bulacan Kuyas on top of the MPBL leaderboard.

Unable to find their range early in the game, the Huskers fell behind by 10 points twice, the last at 52-62 on a basket by Mindoro's Kristan Hernandez.

The Huskers, however, clawed back to within 69-71 on a 3-point play by Ximone Sandagon, only to be answered by back-to-back triples from Mindoro Disiplinados skipper Teytey Teodoro.

A 14-3 run, highlighted by two triples from John Karlo Casino and a drive by Thomas Torres, finally pushed the Huskers ahead at 83-80 with a minute and 47 seconds to go.

Mindoro failed to score the rest of the way and absorbed its second straight defeat in this 29-team tournament that will run until December 2023.

The 6-foot-4 Sandagon wound up with 17 points and 11 rebounds to earn Best Player honors.

RJ Minerva delivered 14 points and 14 rebounds even as Mark Joseph Pangilinan finished with 13 points, including two game-capping charities, for the Huskers.

Quezon also got 9 points apiece from Casino and Jeric Teng and 7 points each from Thomas Torres and Lucena City Mayor Mark Alcala.

Ken Bangeles led Mindoro with 17 points while Teodoro added 14 and homegrown talent Jon Ivan Cudiamat finishing with 12 points.

The MPBL resumes on Monday, March 20, at the Strike Gymnasium in Bacoor, Cavite with a triple-bill pitting Batangas against Valenzuela at 4 p.m., Zamboanga against Pasay at 6 p.m. and Marikina against Bacoor at 8 p.m.

2023-03-18T14:03:48Z dg43tfdfdgfd