MPBL Injury Report: Ron Lastimosa fractures arm as Pasay Voyagers suffer 4th straight loss

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The agony of defeat may have been stinging and more painful for the Pasay Voyagers, who suffered their fourth straight setback in the MPBL Lakan Season.

On Tuesday, the Voyagers dropped a 78-72 loss at the hands of the Caloocan Supremos as they slipped to 3-5 win-loss record.

Making it worse for the Voyagers was the injury that happened to Ron Lastimosa, who fractured his arm during their game against the Supremos.

Lastimosa had to be taken out of the game after taking a bad fall while driving to the basket and hurt his left arm while sliding to the canvass.

Head coach Keith Marlon Martin of Pasay confirmed that Lastimosa suffered a fractured hand.

“He suffered a galleazzi fracture,” wrote Martin in an online message. “There’s already a cast in his left arm and it would require surgery.”

This means Lastimosa will be out for months and his return will depend on his recovery.

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Caloocan Supremos respond to coach’s call to win: ‘Sino ang gustong maglaro?’

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For awhile, Caloocan looked like a boxer reeling on the ropes and another possible knockdown looked imminent.

But the Supremos fought their way back and found a way to win in the process by pulling off a gripping 78-72 squeaker at the expense of the Pasay Voyagers in the MPBL Lakan Season at the Caloocan Sports Complex Tuesday night.

It took a heart to heart pep talk inside the locker room to wake up the Supremos, who responded to the coach’s call to play with a sense of urgency.

“Sa locker room kanina nagsisisigaw ako, tinanong ko, ‘sino ang gustong maglaro?.’ Lahat sila nagtaas ng kamay. Sumagot sila, ‘Coach, ibibigay namin ito sa iyo’,” said Caloocan coach John Kallos.

Fired up by the coach’s words, the Supremos collectively put together their best effort in overcoming an 11-point, second quarter deficit.

For a seven-minute stretch bridging the third and fourth quarters, the Supremos held their rivals without a field goal and that resulted to a backbreaking 14-1 run, allowing the Victory Liner-backed Caloocan to take a 62-49 lead of JM Gonzales’ two free throws with still 6:40 left.

There was one lonely stretch, though, where the Supremos nearly suffered an endgame meltdown and the Voyagers took advantage by responding with a swift 19-7 as Axel Iñigo, Jan Jamon and Dhon Reverente combined forces and shoved their team within striking distance, 69-68, 3:13 left.

Pasay was able to threaten for the last time after Reverente completed a three-point play off a foul from Gonzales to put his team within 73-72 with still 1:34 left, but Almond Vosotros, the most dangerous man in Caloocan’s line up, played the fireman’s role by burying a clutch trey that set the tone for the Supremos’ big endgame finish.

“Hindi na puwedeng maulit yung mga nangyari sa past games namin. Sana natuto kami,” added Kallos. “May meltdown na naman, pero I have to give credit to the boys, para sa kanila itong panalo. They were tough and they were mentally and physically prepared. Ang saya namin.”

Vosotros led the way with 22 points while Paul Sanga added 15. Rene Pacquiao produced 10 as Caloocan scored 34 points from inside the paint, 20 more than its counterpart.

The Supremos’ bench players also reigned supreme over the Voyagers, scoring 66 compared to only 38 for their rivals.

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San Juan Knights stay unscathed in six games, keep hold of solo MPBL lead

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Teams playing San Juan are poised to bring their A-game each time they face the reigning champions.

But after six games, even their best were not good enough as the Go For Gold-backed Knights stayed unscathed. Their latest win over the Parañaque Patriots-Yabo Sports, 81-65, is proof of San Juan’s continuous domination in the MPBL Lakan Season.

Mac Cardona poured in 16 points while Larry Rodriguez added 13 as the Knights stayed as the only unbeaten team in the tournament and kept solo lead in the 31-team cast of the fastest growing regional amateur basketball league.

San Juan’s 6-0 start is the best start in franchise history.

The Knights pulled away midway the second period as a Rodriguez lay-up gave his squad a 40-24 advantage, with 3:29 left in the second frame.

But the Patriots, mostly composed of homegrown talents, refused to throw in the towel right away and rallied in the third period, inching closer to within five, 45-40, as James Abugan capped an 8-2 run.

That was the closest Parañaque could get as the more experienced San Juan team took care of business from there on and handed the Patriots their fifth loss in seven games.

Following their latest setback, the Patriots dropped to 11th place.

 

 

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Bataan bounces back strong, vents ire on Ritchie Melencio-less Muntinlupa

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Bataan struck back in a vengeful way by beating Muntinlupa soundly, 83-56, to get back on track in the MPBL Lakan Season at the Caloocan Sports Complex Tuesday night.

Alvin Pasaol played his best game since joining the star-studded Risers, finishing with 20 points and seven rebounds — propelling his team to its third win in six games.

It was a game dominated by Bataan most of the way.

The Risers built a 20-point lead, 38-18, off a triple from Byron Villarias and they were never seriously threatened from there.

Despite the convincing win, Bataan coach Jong Uichico is still concerned about the on and off performance of the squad, but is hoping the conscious effort to respond against Muntinlupa would be the start of something good.

The Cagers played without head coach Ritchie Melencio, who served a one game suspension after being  thrown out of the game in his team’s previous match with Parañaque.

Muntinlupa dropped to 2-5 win-loss mark.

“It’s good they responded well after a loss,” Uichico told FOX Sports Philippines. “It’s a good win, so that we could get back on track naman, because we have a big game against San Juan. It’s going to be a long travel, but let’s see how this game plays over in our next game.”

The Risers will face the reigning champion San Juan Knights on Saturday in the league’s first official game in Legazpi City. While Uichico is preparing for the most challenging game of his MPBL career, he’s more concerned on how he could get his team be more accustomed to his system.

“I’m still feeling the game out,” admitted Uichico. “We should play, not the way the MPBL plays. It’s different. Playing the team my way. That’s what I’m trying to figure out. It’s taking some time.”

 

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After Jhonard Clarito, collegiate teammate Dahrell Caranguian hoping to make it big in MPBL

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We’ve seen how Jhonard Clarito, a talented player who was rarely given much prominence after playing for the De Ocampo Memorial College Cobras in the NCRAA, makes his mark in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League after he emerged as the Finals hero while helping the San Juan Knights in winning the Datu Cup.

This time, his collegiate teammate, Dahrell Caranguian, wants to follow that path to stardom while playing for the Quezon City Capitals-Wemsap and the spitfire guard had shown his potential in his team’s last two wins.

He has averaged 11.5 points, five rebounds and 5.5 assists per game and shown a lot of promise in the absence of second-generation cager Aaron Black.

For Caranguian, the MPBL serves as a good platform for players like him who have opportunities of taking center stage.

“Magandang liga talaga itong MPBL kasi madaming natutulungan na players,” said Caranguian. “Hard work lang ako para makamit ko yung pangarap ko.”

Caranguain is one among the newcomers picked up by the Capitals this season to take over the spot vacated by more illustrious players like Jay Collado, Hesed Gabo, Andoy Estrella, and Alwyn Alday among others.

Basketball experts considered the Capitals not among the favorites in this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner, but Caranguian and co. are proving them otherwise.

“Kapag naririnig ko yun, kailangan naming i-prove na malakas pa rin kami,” added Caranguian, a former MVP in the NCRAA. “Ang maganda sa QC yung jelling namin maganda, on and off the court.”

For Quezon City coach Vis Valencia, discovering new stars has always been his objective and he’s more than willing to provide it to young players who want to take their game to a higher level.

“That’s always been my goal,” added Valencia. “Every game, every conference, I want my players to shine. I’m the one adjusting with my players para mas lumabas yung laro nila. I’m looking at their comfort.  I’m happy for the three seasons, maraming nadi-discover.

But Valencia had apprehensions and that is the fear of losing players who have shone with his team and would eventually wind up with other teams.

“Sana lang huwag mawala,” he added. “Nawawala kasi eh. Kinukuha ng ibang teams.”

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Gilas Pilipinas to play Spain, Congo, Ivory Coast in pocket tournament ahead of World Cup

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A Spanish national team, most of them playing in the NBA, will be one of the three crack teams Gilas Pilipinas will be facing in a pocket tournament early August in Spain.

Head coach Yeng Guiao confirmed to FOX Sports Philippines that it was Spain’s basketball federation which arranged the pocket tournament.

With NBA players like Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Victor Claver, Rudy Fernandez, and Willy Hernangomez bolstering the squad, Spain would be a formidable force in the FIBA World Cup and Gilas Pilipinas will take advantage of that chance opportunity playing one of the world’s best.

“We leave August. They have three games. We play Congo, Ivory Coast and Spain. Actually ang naghanda dito para sa atin yung Spain mismo,” Guiao said in an exclusive interview.

“Tingin ko doon sa Spain contender yan, so I think it’s a good workout for us. They have several NBA players and they will be playing against us. Napakagandang preparation for us.”

Gasol will lead the Spanish team.

A member of newly-crowned NBA champion Toronto Raptors, Gasol is the younger brother of multiple champion Pau Gasol. The younger Gasol was chosen as NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2013  and has played in the NBA All-Star three times.

A two-time Olympian, Gasol was also a part of the Spanish team that placed second to USA in 2008 and again in London in 2012. Rubio, a point guard from the Phoenix Suns, was also a long-time teammate of Gasol.

Claver, a 6-foot-9 forward, was selected in the first round of the 2009 Rookie Draft by the Portland Trailblazers, but spent the past few years playing in Russia and his hometown country Spain.

Fernandez, a 6-foot-5 wingman, has played in three Olympic teams from 2008 to 2016. He has played for the Portland Trailblazers and the Denver Nuggets before moving back to Spain to play for Real Madrid.

Last year, Fernandez was chosen as the Finals MVP of the Spanish League.

Hernangomez is one of two siblings included in the Spanish roster. He is an NBA journeyman who has played for the New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, and Charlotte Hornets. In two seasons in the NBA, he has averaged seven points per game.

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MPBL: Caloocan, Pasay out to snap skid; San Juan looks to extend run to 6

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Games Tuesday

(Caloocan Sports Complex)

4 p.m. – San Juan vs Parañaque

6:30 p.m. – Bataan vs Muntinlupa

8 p.m. – Pasay vs Caloocan

Caloocan and Pasay try to arrest an alarming skid as they shoot for a win at each other’s expense in the resumption of the MPBL Lakan Season at the Caloocan Sports Complex Tuesday.

The Voyagers of Pasay had lost their last three games and they are aching to bounce back on the winning track. They have to do it at the expense of the Caloocan Supremos-Victory Liner, whom they will be facing in the main game at 9 p.m.

Just like Pasay, Caloocan is also looking for that breakout win and beating Pasay could be a good start.

The Supremos had lost their last two games. Currently with 1-5 win-loss mark, they need to win to get themselves out of the cellar. They are currently second to the last in the northern division  standings.

Muntinlupa battles an on-and-off Bataan team in the 6:30 p.m. encounter while unbeaten San Juan looks to extend its winning streak against Parañaque at 4 p.m.

The Angelis Resort-backed Cagers had won back-to-back games, but they will be meeting a tough customer in the Risers, who are surprisingly carrying 2-3 win-loss record despite their status as one of the most formidable team this season.

After losing its first four games, Muntinlupa had won back-to-back victories and putting itself into a tie for 12th to 13th places with the Bacolod-Master Sardines in the southern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.

San Juan will be facing a Parañaque team that had lost its last two games. Adding the Patriots to their growing list of  victims may be in the agenda of the Go For Gold-backed Knights, who will be looking for their sixth straight victory.

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SBP Coaches’ Summit with Aussie mentors a good start to healing PHL-Australia relationship, says Guiao

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The Gilas Pilipinas brawl with Australia in last year’s FIBA Asia Championship World Cup qualifier can be considered as one of the darkest days in Philippine basketball. But officials of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and the management and coaching staff of our national team had taken initial steps in patching things up to establish their good working relationship towards basketball.

Coaches from Australia had been invited to conduct a clinic in front of our local coaches, and Gilas Pilipinas head honcho Yeng Guiao believes this could be a start of something good in reestablishing the once amicable relationship between the two countries.

“Yun ang objective namin sa SBP, yun rin ang objective namin sa Gilas. I was the one who proposed to have a practice with Australia from the very beginning. Eto natupad na nga, not with the national team, but with a good ball club. That still going to help us,” Guiao told FOX Sports Philippines in an exclusive interview.

Gilas Pilipinas will face an Australian club team in a series of exhibition games set up by the SBP as part of the national team’s preparation for the coming FIBA World Cup. The two-day tune up matches will be held on August 23 and 25.

Playing the Aussies in exhibition matches wasn’t new for the national team, as Gilas have been doing similar practices in the past while preparing for major international events like the Asian Games and World Cup qualifying events.

Over the weekend, Guiao took part in the SBP Coaches’ Summit where he joined several other local coaches and the two main clinicians from Australia — Damian Cotter and Dean Vickerman.

Guiao discussed the importance of making the most out of the team’s limited talent.

Cotter talked about the importance of the post game while Vickerman discussed the importance of beating the zone, which is essential in the international game like the FIBA World Cup.

“Yung mga coaches naman nila ang tumutulong sa mga coaches natin. This is the healing period, actually. It’s a very big step, positive step towards of being together again —  the Philippines and Australia in terms of basketball,” added Guiao.

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Jayjay Helterbrand relives glory days, Chad Alonzo comes up solid as Imus snaps skid

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Jayjay Helterbrand had a nostalgic night while fellow ex-pro Chad Alonzo went business as usual.

Amidst coaching changes, the two veteran players buckled down to work as Imus Bandera snapped an alarming skid and pulled off an 82-70 win over the SOCCSKSARGEN Marlins Saturday night in the MPBL Lakan Season at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Alonzo, a PBA journeyman, finished with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds to anchor the interior game of the Bandera, who arrested a three-game losing skid and rewarded new coach Mac Cuan a victory in his first game as mentor.

Immediately after taking over from previous mentor Budds Reyes, Cuan affected change on the Bandera, who showed remarkable improvement.

“Under new coach kami, naninibago pa kami sa sistema,” Alonzo told FOX Sports Philippines. “Medyo malaki pagkakaiba. Siguro mas improved yung players sa diskarte, sa timing, mas medyo natututo under Coach Mac Cuan.”

Helterbrand, a former PBA MVP, could only agree with Alonzo’s observation.

“The biggest difference is his harp on defense,” added Helterbrand, who contributed 14 markers to provide stability on the backcourt. “He really wanted us to get out there and play defense and play as a team.”

Offensively, Helterbrand believes the system being used by Cuan also drew the best out of the rest of the team.

“We’ve been getting good shots, the coach did a good job of allowing everyone to get involved. Everybody got to play,” added Helterbrand.

Helterbrand couldn’t help himself but feel nostalgic about playing at the Cuneta Astrodome, the same venue where he and his former team Barangay Ginebra San Miguel played many games.

“It was like back at home or something,” he added. “It was a special night and we finally got the win. Hopefully, we could keep it going.”

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General Santos City stays unbeaten under new coach, adds Iloilo to growing list of victims

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He may be on his first head coaching job, but Rich Alvarez already looks promising as a rookie mentor in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

In his third game with the squad, the former PBA Rookie of the Year towed the General Santos City Warriors to yet another win and stayed unscathed in the fastest growing regional amateur basketball league.

The Warriors added the Iloilo United Royals to their growing list of victims after scoring a 69-64 squeaker on Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Alvarez picked up his third consecutive victory as coach. As a team, the Burlington-backed Warriors improved their win-loss record to 5-2 to forge a tie for fourth to fifth places with the Bicol Volcanoes.

Rob Celiz came away with another solid game for the Warriors as he wound up with his second straight double-double performance of 15 points and 15 rebounds.

His frontline partner, John Orbeta, also produced a double-double of 13 points and 10 boards for General Santos, which won despite shooting only 30-percent from the field (23-of-76).

But General Santos City’s defense, particularly on Richard Escoto, spelled the difference.

Considered as one of Iloilo’s main men, Escoto ended up with only four points and was held without a field goal the entire second half.

It was also the second straight loss of Iloilo, which dropped to 3-3 in this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.

 

 

 

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MPBL throws full support to league founder, boxing icon Manny Pacquiao

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LAS VEGAS — A strong delegation composed of stakeholders from the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, team managers and key personnel are now in the entertainment capital of the world to support the People’s Champion and eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao in his upcoming bout with American Keith Thurman for the WBA super welterweight crown on Saturday night (Sunday in Manila).

MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes led the delegation that include several team owners, team executives and key personnel of the fastest growing regional amateur basketball league, hoping to rally the Fighting Senator of the Philippines in quest of the WBA super welterweight crown.

Pacquiao is also the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the MPBL.

Aside from Duremdes, other MPBL luminaries include Anita Kaw, owner of the Zamboanga-Family’s Brand Sardines, Exequiel Robles, team owner of Pasig-Sta. Lucia Realtors, who was also accompanied by long-time team executive Buddy Encarnado, a two-time PBA Executive of the Year.

Duremdes had delegated operations head Zaldy Realubit as officer-in-charge in his absence.

Also in the delegation are Lavin Castro of the Pasay Voyagers, Toby Tiangco of the Navotas Clutch, Christian Singson of the Nueva Ecija-MiGuard, JJ Javelosa, team owner of the Iloilo United Royals and Nomar Isla, team manager of the Bicol Volcanoes.

Pacquiao allocated three tickets each for the league’s 31 teams. Majority of the counterpart LGU officials, however, are unavailable due to the State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.

Also in this glitzy city are lawyers Tomas Falgui and Bong Gacal and MPBL/Senate staffers Dave Homo and Miraflor Mantalaba.

 

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MPBL: Mark Yee falls short on milestone, but succeeds in keeping Davao Occidental from winning

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MARK Yee missed a rebound away from achieving yet another milestone, but that didn’t stop him and the rest of the Davao Occidental Tigers to come up with an 85-74 win over Bacolod-Master Sardines in the MPBL Lakan Season Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The veteran forward, who ended up as runner-up in last season’s MVP derby, posted another double-double of 16 points and 15 rebounds. One more board and he will become only the second player after Harold Arboleda to register at least 500 points and 500 rebounds in the fastest growing regional amateur basketball league put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.

Yee’s dominance up front typified the Cocolife-backed Tigers’ domination over Bacolod.

Davao Occidental, the reigning southern division champion, shot 48.5-percent from the field (33-of-68) and grabbed 51 rebounds, 15 more than its counterpart.

The Tigers led from start to finish, posting leads by as many as 20, 73-53, in the early part of the fourth period off a three-point basket by James Forrester.

Forrester, a PBA journeyman, tallied 16 points, his most productive output since playing this season.

Also contributing heavily was Marco Balagtas, who knocked in 16 markers while Billy Robles also had a double-double showing of 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers, who improved their win-loss record to 5-1 and gained a share of the lead with the Bacoor Strikers in the southern division of this tournament.

Bacolod absorbed its fourth loss in six matches.

“I’m still trying to figure out the identity of our team,” Davao Occidental coach Don Dula told FOX Sports Philippines in an exclusive interview. “The style we played last year, is different now, including the personnel we have.”

“Offensively, we’re more flexible. We’re a lot better than last year. But defensively, we’ll get it in time and get them on the things that we wanted them to do,” added Dulay.

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MPBL: With Macky Acosta keeping temper in check, Biñan gets back on winning track

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BIÑAN — Good things happened whenever Macky Acosta keeps his temper in check and on Friday night, the stretch big player kept his head cool and showed nothing but his hot shooting.

Acosta knocked in 24 points, including a torrid 6-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc, to propel the Biñan-Krah Heroes to a 94-78 bashing of the Basilan Steel in the MPBL Lakan Season at the Alonte Sports Center.

“Actually, gustung-gusto niyang bumawi,” Biñan coach Alex Angeles told FOX Sports Philippines in an exclusive interview. “Nung mga nakaraang games, kapag umiinit ang ulo niya, medyo nasisira siya. Kinausap lang namin siya to control your emotions and I’m sure maganda ipapakita mo at ilalaro sa game.”

True enough, Acosta delivered in an excellent shooting display.

He had a total of five treys in the second half alone, triggering his team’s breakaway in the third period with two triples. That served like a domino effect as guys like Kyle Neypes and event Andrei Stevens were able to join in the fray.

By the end of the third, the Heroes, who saw their double-digit lead wiped out in the early part of the third, were able to regain the momentum and took a 66-52 advantage entering the final quarter.

In the final quarter, Acosta put the final nails on the coffin of Basilan. His last triple in the 4:47 mark gave the Heroes a commanding 84-60 lead and they were able put away the Steel from there.

“Nag-message sa akin si Coach Alex napansin niya na past two games mainitin ulo ko,” added Acosta. “Kailangan daw kahit anong gawin ng kalaban ko, mag-step up lang ako at huwag pansinin.”

Acosta’s big game also had nothing to do going up against his former team. He considered the game as another day in the office.

“Ganun naman sa basketball, ngayon kakampi mo, sa susunod, kalaban mo na sila. Sa business na ito, ready kami sa ganun,” added Acosta.

With Acosta on fire with his torrid shooting, Biñan was able to get back on the winning track. The team picked up its third win in seven games.

Basilan absorbed back-to-back losses and fell to 3-3.

MPBL: Manila asserts mastery over Pampanga behind dynamic duo Dionisio, Bitoon

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BIÑAN — The Manila Stars outran and outgunned the Pampanga Giant Lanterns to score a dominating 92-76 triumph in the MPBL Lakan Season at the Alonte Sports Arena here Friday night.

Dionisio came away with another double-double performance, finishing with 15 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks as he imposed his will on the interior defense.

His long-time teammate, Chris Bitoon, led the way with 18 points and anchored the Frontrow-backed Stars’ fluid transition game.

With Bitoon sprinting down on offense, the Stars were able to get 34 points on fastbreaks, 22 more than their rivals.

Manila also produced more points from its bench players, 39, compared to only 26 for Pampanga.

Outside of Dionisio and Bitoon, Manila also got a huge contribution from Carlo Lastimosa, who came off the bench and ended with a double-double performance of 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Marvin Hayes also chipped in 10 in a display of balance firepower for Manila.

The Stars proved to be too much against the Giant Lanterns.

Manila worked extra hard in crashing the boards, allowing the team to pull down 53 rebounds, 14 more than Pampanga. As a team, the Stars played a lot better, dishing out 32 assists. more than half than their rivals who only had 15.

Following its latest win, Manila improved its win-loss record to 5-1 to move up to second place, just half a game behind tournament leader San Juan, the only unbeaten team so far after five games.

Pampanga absorbed its third loss in six games.

So dominant was Manila, which led by as many as 27, 66-39, at one turn.

The Stars put a premium on defense right from the get-go as they held their rivals to just a lone field goal in a nine-minute stretch bridging the first and second periods.

That resulted to a backbreaking 24-3 run, allowing the Stars to pull away, 37-15, capped by Johnny Laude’s triple, 5:32 left in the second frame and Manila was never seriously threatened from there.

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