AN undermanned Batangas City Athletics-Tanduay showed up in their first game in the MPBL Datu Cup, but that hardly affected the inaugural staging champions.
Despite missing the services of key players Val Acuna, Jhaymo Eguilos and Mon Rogado and playing veteran guard Lester Alvarez in sick bay, Batangas City edged Quezon City, 95-90, to make a good impression in the tournament Wednesday night at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
Championship hangover wasn’t visible on the side of Batangas City, which still showed its hungry attitude led by new recruit Bong Galanza.
Galanza, who last played for Kia/Dyip in the PBA, led all scorers with 28 points, hitting 5-of-7 attempts from beyond the arc. His torrid shooting more than made up for the absence of the Athletics’ key players.
“Malaki ang expectations ko sa kanya kasi very hardworking yan,” said Batangas City coach Mac Tan.
According to Tan, he had never seen anyone as disciplined as Galanza and that’s part of the reason why he felt so fortunate to find a goldmine in the former University of the East standout.
“No offense to my team, he’s the first guy to come in at practice and last to leave. Wala akong masabi dyan. Good attitude. I thanked my players who gave me some tips on getting Galanza. He’s really a great pick up for us,” added Tan.
Galanza hit 10-of-16 from the field in 26 minutes and his excellent shooting allowed Batangas City to post a 58-40 lead in the early part of the third period.