Tamaraws stay unbeaten

December 16, 2021 Theodore P. Jurado 440 views

MINDORO exploded for 31 points in the third quarter and fended off a late Bulacan rally in the payoff period to carve out a 79-72 win and stay unbeaten in the Chooks-to-Go Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Invitational powered by TM yesterday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Alvin Baetiong scored all of his 12 points in the Tamaraws’ third quarter breakway while former San Beda standouts Jeramer Cabanag and Ryusei Koga combined 11 of their team’s 13 points in the final 10 minutes of play.

Pool D-leading Mindoro, whose 2-0 record has the same mark as Pool A pacesetter Bacolod and Pool C frontrunner San Juan, lowered its guard after building a 66-45 lead.

James Martinez was able to cut the Kuyas’ deficit to 72-75, before Koga and Cabanag scored key baskets in the final 44 seconds to secure the Tamaraws’ scrambling victory.

“Same as our last game (against Manila), we were up in the third quarter but unfortunately, nakalimutan namin maglaro ng basketball nung fourth quarter,” said Mindoro coach Britt Reroma.

“But we will still take this as a win. We were playing not to lose in the fourth quarter. We have to work on that. Alam naman natin na yung liga na ito nakapaiksi. Every game counts and we need to work on things again,” he added.

Cabanag eventually finished with 15 points to go with four rebounds and two assists, while Koga added 14 points built on four treys and dished out five assists for the Tamaraws.

In other games, Caloocan nipped Negros, 80-79, to even its record to 1-1 in Pool A, while Val City-MJAS Zenith turned back debuting Muntinlupa, 76-72, to earn its first win in Pool C.

It was Pao Javillonar who provided the game’s biggest play, as the Letran forward secured the offensive board off a Joseph Peñaredondo missed three-pointer for the putback with three seconds left.

Peñaredondo led the Excellence with 16 points while Javillonar had a double-double outing of 15 points and 19 rebounds.

“The boys really wanted to win after that very dismal performance yesterday,” said coach Rene Baena, referring to Caloocan’s 50-72 loss to Bacoor last Monday.

“I do not want to call it luck but if you see that putback, it was a lucky shot. But every time in our scrimmages, Pao will always be there for the putback it’s either him or [Mon] Mabayo,” he added.

Coming off a 33-point loss to San Juan in the opener, coach Ronjay Enrile was satisfied the way Valenzuela responded from that blowout to.

“I’m happy for the boys sa nangyari sa amin. Sabi ko sa kanila, kalimutan natin iyon, ibigay natin ngayon,” said Enrile.

Dave Moralde topscored for Val City with 18 points while Andrey Armenion chipped in 15 markers.

Bulacan and Negros fell to 0-2 and 0-3, respectively. (Theodore P. Jurado)

The scores:

First Game

Mindoro (79) – Cabanag 15, Koga 14, Castro 13, Baetiong 12, Mallari 10, Mariano 6, Cosejo 5, Liwag 4, Saldana 0, Caldozo 0, Matias 0, Villapando 0.
Bulacan (72) – Faundo 22, Martinez 15, Hoyohoy 9, Caspe 7, Iñigo 6, Escosio 4, Dela Cruz 3, Neypes 3, Arim 3, Bacay 0, Marquez 0.
Quarterscores: 16-20, 35-37, 66-52, 79-72

Second Game

Caloocan (80) – Peñaredondo 16, Javillonar 15, Labing-isa 10, Lasco 9, Gil 9, Mabayo 7, Matias 7, Raflores 3, Esguerra 2, Santos 2, Pacquiao 0, Rosagas 0.
Negros (79) – Gantalao 23, Maestre 12, Adjel 12, Yulo 10, Claridad 9, Adorio 6, Santillan 4, Parreno 3. Jaca 0, Geolingo 0, Calma 0, Gadon 0.
Quarterscores: 20-20, 41-39, 56-59, 80-79

Third Game

Valenzuela (76) – Moralde 18, Armenion 15, Cabahug 13, Mojica 13, Villafranca 10, Darang 4, Ugsang 2, Bauzon 1, Cachuela 0, Roncal 0.
Muntinlupa (72) – Capacio Gw. 14, Peralta 12, Destacamento 11, Mosqueda 7, Saitanan 7, Capacio Ga. 5, Bagatsing 5, Ylagan 4, Alano 3, Vidal 2, Dixon 2, Ortuoste 0.
Quarterscores: 20-12, 33-33, 52-55, 76-72.