MPBL: Bataan aims for a 4th consecutive victory; Rizal and Caloocan tipped to defeat their enemies

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MANILA, Philippines — Resurgent Bataan Camaya Coast tries to prove his worth on the road when he tangles with Imus Bandera at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 15, in the 4th Season OKbet-MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League) presented by Xtreme at Caloocan Sports Complex.

Other matches pit Rizal against Laguna at 7 p.m. and Caloocan against Mindoro at 9 p.m.

Building on a very supportive home crowd, Bataan overpowered Bacolod, 60-54, on July 11 at the Orion Sports Complex to improve to 4-1 in the single-round playoff of the 22-team, two-division tournament.

The Bataan Risers will be looking for their fourth straight win over the Bandera, who were routed by the San Juan Knights 57-86 on July 4.

James Darwin Castro will again lead the Bataan offense with support from Arvie Bringas, Jetro Sombero, Ronjay Lastimosa, Gio Espueles, Kristoffer Torrado and Jamil Gabawan.

Imus, who is 2-4, will be powered by local icon Ian Melencio, veteran Leo Najorda, Jessie Saitana, Mark Anthony Guillen and Jeric Serrano.

Although Rizal Xentro Mall lost to Pasig, 77-79, on July 9, the Golden Coolers (3-3) are slim picks against the Heroes, who have lost four in a row and are mired at 1-5.

Rizal will rely on former Ateneo Blue Eagles Jolo Mendoza and Troy Mallillin, Laura Victoria, Alvin Capobres, Jordan Rios and veteran Mark Benitez.

Although Caloocan (1-4) is on a three-game slide, Excellence is favored by the Mindoro Tams, who are seeded below them at 1-7.

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