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Zamboanga Secures Overtime Victory Against Valenzuela in MPBL Season Opener

The Zamboanga Masters Sardines kicked off the MPBL Sixth Season with an intense showdown against the Valenzuela Classics at the Calasiao Sports Complex in Pangasinan, resulting in an 82-76 victory after a nail-biting overtime period.

Renzo Subido shone for Zamboanga in the extra period with five points after making just three in regulation.

Assisting Subido in warding off the Valenzuela challenge were Joseph Gabayni, former MVP Jaycee Marcelino, and Adrian Santos, each adding valuable points to secure the win under the mentorship of Louie Alas. Marcelino led the scoring for Zamboanga with 26 points and 8 rebounds, while Rey Publico made his presence felt with 10 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Valenzuela's Orin Catacutan forced the game into overtime with a critical three-pointer, leveling the score at 71-71, despite Zamboanga holding a lead of 39-31 earlier in the game.

Dennis Santos showcased an impressive performance for the Classics, amassing 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals, including a burst of nine points in the final 80 seconds of the second quarter, propelling Valenzuela to a halftime lead of 47-43.

Despite Zamboanga's efforts to regain control, the game remained fiercely contested until the final minutes of play.

MPBL Founder Manny Pacquiao graced the opening ceremonies, which included a parade of the participating teams alongside their muses, with actress Barbie Imperial of the Abra Weavers receiving recognition as the best muse.

In his address, Pacquiao welcomed expansion teams Pangasinan, Abra, and Tarlac, as well as the returning Davao Occidental, highlighting the league's exponential growth from its inception with 10 teams to its current 30-team format. Pacquiao attributed this success to the unwavering support of fans, local government units (LGUs), and league sponsors.

He also commended the dedicated efforts of key officials such as Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, CEO Joe Ramos, Head of Operations Emmer Oreta, and legal counsel Atty. Glenn Gacal in ensuring the smooth operation of the league.

Looking ahead, the MPBL action continues at the Kamalig Coliseum in Orion, Bataan, with a triple-header on Monday featuring matchups between Bicol and Mindoro at 4 p.m., Marikina and Negros at 6 p.m., and Sarangani and Bataan at 8 p.m.


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