By Ryann Yap

Having the lead in almost the entirety of the game, Valenzuela XUR Homes Realty Inc. barely escaped with an 85-84 victory over Imus Bandera XTREME at the 2022 MPBL Mumbaki Cup, at Caloocan Sports Complex, September 21. 

Photo Courtesy of MPBL Official Page

Valenzuela’s Jaymar Gimpayan drilled in two clutch free-throws with 0.5 seconds remaining at the final quarter after an unsportsman-like foul committed by Jacob Galicia, enough to decline the dub for Imus.

Imus made a mini 4-0 spark at the last minute via Galicia lay-up from a Jeymark Mallari assist, alongside a brilliant dribble-drive penetration basket by Rene Pacquiao to gain the first score advantage of the game for their squad, 84-83.

Former PBA star Cyrus Baguio led his Valenzuela crew with 10 points on an 80% field goal percentage, including two rebounds and four assists, just right to seal his team at the 6th spot on the North Division, tied with Quezon City MG Cars’ standings (8-9).

“Credits sa Imus sa ganda ng inilaro nila, akala namin talo na kami, pero ‘di kami nag-give up,” Baguio said on the post-game interview.

Valenzuela managed to control the offense over Imus in the third quarter, as they secured a four-point lead after 30 minutes of game time, 66-62.

Lord Casajeros topped his team behind a seven-point output in under two quarters, enough to give Valenzuela the halftime lead, 46-39.

After a thrilling first frame, Valenzuela’s shaded area baskets kicked-off as the team earned an opening quarter upperhand, 21-17.

On the other hand, Imus stayed on the 8th seed at the South Division (4-13), but opened the doorway for Laguna Krah Asia to snatch their rank which is currently at the 9th spot (3-12).

Edited by Jostle Doen Pilayre