THE M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala-Cebu Niños continued to struggle before beating the stubborn Hobe Bihon-Taguig City, 82-77, to open its bid for the third Leg title in the Misamis Oriental Leg of the Tournament of the Philippines (TOP) held last Monday at the Xavier University Gym in Cagayan de Oro City.

Warren Ybañez scored seven of his nine points in the final period and pulled a crucial

steal against Jemal Vizcarra to help the Niños survive the end-game attack of Taguig City.

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Stephen Padilla topscored for Cebu with 15 points, with Marlon Basco firing 13 and Mark Ababon adding 11.

Although the Niños were controlling the game, Taguig gave them a scare most of the time with Vizcarra, Eric de la Cuesta, Lou Gatumbato and Jeffrey Sanders exchanging

baskets with the Cebuanos for 40 minutes.

In the main game, host Misamis Oriental Meteors needed only one quarter to outlast Ascof Lagundi Cough Busters, 94-70.

Former UV Green Lancer skipper Neil Raneses scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the well-balanced Meteors attack.

Ronald Lamocha, Mar Moreño, Patrick Cabahug and Eder Saldua were the other Meteors who scored in double digits, while Edwin Asoro topped Ascof Lagundi with 12 points. RCM

MLKP-Cebu (82)—Padilla 15, Basco13, Ababon 11, Ybanez 9, Dacia 9, Saladaga 7, Santos 6, Cruz 6, Mepana 6. Hobe Bihon-Taguig (77)—Vizcarra 16, Dela Cuesta 12, Gatumbato 11, Sanders 10, De Castro 8, Sta. Cruz 6, Guiyab 6, Cuan 3, Fernandez 2, Reguera 2,

Tajonera 1. Quarters: 18-13, 43-38, 64-59, 82-77.