For five games, the General Santos City Warriors looked more like champions. Rich Alvarez has been solidifying his case as the newest elite coach in the MPBL Lakan Season for five straight games.
Alvarez and the Burlington-backed Warriors are a winning combination and they kept their remarkable run alive on Monday, following an 87-76 triumph over the Navotas Clutch.
Mike Williams and Rob Celiz combined for 43 points, while Pamboy Raymundo added 19 markers. John Orbeta also tallied a double-digit production with 11. The Warriors improved their win-loss record to 7-2 and firmed their hold of solo third spot in the southern division of this tournament put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao with PBA legend and former MVP Kenneth Duremdes serving as commissioner.
Williams completed a double-double performance as he also pulled down 10 rebounds.
“I’ve been tested a lot and I’m learning,” said Alvarez, who remains perfect since taking over as head coach.
“Yes, I’m new at this, but my experience as a player is not too far from here. But I’m lucky and blessed to have players who are ready to respond.”
Raymundo believes Alvarez’s cool demeanor which he brought to Gen San is one of the reasons why the team remains successful.
“Lagi niya kaming kinakausap, open siya sa amin sa mga suggestion namin, para hindi rin kami mahirapan,” Raymundo told FOX Sports Philippines in an exclusive interview.
“Naiintindihan niya kami kasi dati rin siyang player.”
The Warri0rs tightened up their defense in the last seven and a half minutes of the game as they held back the Clutch without a field goal. All 10 points scored by Navotas came from the free throw line.
Rob Celiz had two three-point plays while Raymundo scored five crucial points in a blistering 17-4 run that allowed the Warriors to put away their rivals, 86-72, 2:34 left.