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GenSan ousts Muntinlupa to forge MPBL semis series vs Batangas

MANILA, Philippines – GenSan led throughout in an 85-78 disposal of Muntinlupa on Tuesday that shoved the Warriors into the semifinal round of the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) Fifth Season at the Paco Arena in Manila.

Asserting their depth and strength, the Warriors led by 69-53 early in the fourth quarter to take the deciding Game 3 of their quarterfinal series against the Cagers and advance to the next round of the playoffs against the Batangas City Embassy Chill Athletics.

The Warriors of Coach Rich Alvarez also won Game 1, 79-70, before getting stalled by the Cagers, 91-99, in Game 2.

Veteran John Wilson again took charge of GenSan's offense with 22 points and six rebounds, followed by Hafer Mondragon, who clinched best player honors with 14 points and eight rebounds.

Mark Cruz also contributed with 11 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Warriors, who fielded Kyt Jimenez and Christian Fajarito to compensate for the absence of Jervy Cruz, who served a one-game suspension.

Jimenez posted seven points, four rebounds and two steals, while Fajarito tallied six points and five rebounds.

Muntinlupa moved closer, 71-80, with still 2:23 to go following a 9-2 run powered by Val Acuna and Dave Moralde.

The Cagers' couldn't do any better, however, as Cruz sealed the outcome with a triple, 83-71, with 48 seconds on the clock.

Muntinlupa Coach Aldrin Morante got 17 points and five rebounds from John Amores; 15 points plus 14 rebounds from JP Sarao; 15 points plus five rebounds from Acuna; 12 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and two steals from Ian Melencio; and 10 points plus six rebounds from Moralde.

MPBL Founder and CEO Manny Pacquiao watched the GenSan-Muntinlupa tussle ending the quarterfinal round.

GenSan and Batangas will begin their semifinal series on Saturday at the Strike Gymnasium in Bacoor, Cavite.