MPBL week 1: Juntilla bags Player of the Week, Sazon wows in opener
MANILA, Phillippines – The first week of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) Datu Cup featured jampacked action, controversies, and even outstanding players you have either forgotten or have never heard of. We’re here to fill you in on updates from the head-spinning 26-team league!
Player of the Week: Reed Juntilla (30 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists)
Newcomer Zamboanga Valientes proved they were more than just a catchy theme song as they earned a road win against the Laguna Heroes, 86-80, in Biñan last Friday, June 15. (READ: MPBL newcomer Zamboanga ready to make noise)
Ex-pro Reed Juntilla, who played for the Barako Bull Energy, dropped an all-around line of 30 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in the comeback win, earning him the first Player of the Week honors for the 10-month long Datu Cup.
One player who narrowly missed out on the distinction, however, was the Marikina Shoemasters’ sniper Yves Sazon from the Philippine Christian University (PCU) of the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) league.
Sazon was on fire all night long last Tuesday, June 12, helping the Shoemasters boot the General Santos City Goldenstate Warriors, 88-81, with a double-double of 30 points and 10 rebounds with 6/13 (46%) three-pointers.
Davao Occidental’s Billy Ray Robles, formerly starring in the PBA D-League’s Marinerong Pilipino, also filled the stat sheets with 15 points, 9 boards, 3 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks in a 75-71 squeaker over Imus last Friday, June 15.
Ray Parks sounds off on charge-ridden game, later apologizes
The MPBL opening day on Independence Day was also nothing short of controversies as the league’s most highly-touted player, Ray Parks, Jr. of the Mandaluyong El Tigre, let loose on the game’s officiating and the league’s alleged treatment of him. (READ: 'They don’t want me in this league,' says Ray Parks after MPBL debut)
The El Tigre lost against Rajah Cup runner-up Muntinlupa Cagers, 74-86, as Parks registered a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds, which was marred by 6 turnovers mainly from his 4 offensive fouls.
League commissioner and PBA legend Kenneth Duremdes issued a stern warning.(READ: MPBL warns Parks: Repeat offense may lead to severe sanction)
Parks later apologized. He’ll next see action as Mandaluyong faces Zamboanga in Imus, Cavite on Saturday, June 23.
It takes a real man to apologise for his actions. So ill be a man and own up and say sorry.— Bobby Ray Parks Jr. (@ray1parks) June 13, 2018
Other notable happenings include the Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, now also a Muntinlupa cager, lighting it up at the opener’s 3-point shootout.
However, he did not play nor appear at all later that evening as the Cagers faced the El Tigre. We’ll have to wait and see if he suits up on Thursday, June 21, in Muntinlupa’s home debut against Marikina, which may also deploy actor Gerald Anderson.
Week 1 Results: June 12-18
*June 12, Tuesday @ Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City
Marikina def. General Santos, 88-81
Muntinlupa def. Mandaluyong, 86-74
*June 13, Wednesday @ Caloocan Sports Complex, Caloocan City
Batangas def. Quezon City, 95-90
Caloocan def. Pasig, 91-81
*June 14, Thursday @ Alonte Sports Arena, Binan, Laguna
Davao Occidental def. Imus, 75-71
Zamboanga def. Laguna, 86-80
*June 16, Saturday @ San Andres Sports Complex, Manila
Navotas def. Pasay, 83-75
Manila def. Bataan, 89-82
- Batangas City Athletics 1-0
- Bulacan Kuyas 1-0
- Caloocan Supremos 1-0
- Davao Occ. Tigers 1-0
- Makati Skyscrapers 1-0
- Manila Stars 1-0
- Marikina Shoemasters 1-0
- Muntinlupa Cagers 1-0
- Navotas Clutch 1-0
- Zamboanga Valientes 1-0
- Basilan Steel 0-1
- Bataan Risers 0-1
- Gen. Santos Warriors 0-1
- Imus Bandera 0-1
- Laguna Heroes 0-1
- Mandaluyong El Tigre 0-1
- Pasay Voyagers 0-1
- Pasig Pirates 0-1
- Quezon City Capitals 0-1
- Rizal Crusaders 0-1
- Bacoor Strikers 0-0
- Cebu City Sharks 0-0
- Pampanga Lanterns 0-0
- Paranaque Patriots 0-0
- San Juan Knights 0-0
- Valenzuela Classic 0-0