MANILA – Bacolod Master Sardines continued its slump in the 2019-2020 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League – Lakan Cup. It suffered a 76-82 loss to the Nueva Ecija Rice Vanguards at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium.
It was the fourth consecutive defeat of the Bacolod City-based ball club to sink to a 6-12 win-loss record in the South Division.
The Rice Vanguards, on the other hand, increased its standings to a 5-13 slate.
It was also the first game of the Master Sardines since letting go of their key player Mark Jayven Tallo due to an alleged misunderstanding with head coach Vic Ycasiano.
From a tightly-contested first half, the Rice Vanguards got its shooting going in the third period behind Jai Reyes and James Martinez to take a 51-46 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Bacolodnons tried its best to keep in step with the Novo Ecijanos but the latter was able to get timely conversions from veteran Nicholas Belasco to escape with the victory.
Reyes tallied 21 markers with five three point baskets, Martinez added 19 points, including four outside hits, for the Rice Vanguards.
For Bacolod, Nico Paolo Javelona finished with double-double 14 points and 11 assists while newcomer Benedict Adamos and Jess Mar Villahermosa added 13 and 11, respectively./PN