MUNTINLUPA head coach Aldrin Morante was satisfied with the way his team performed after coming up with a big win over early favorite Mandaluyong.
Runner-up to Batangas City in the inaugural staging of the league, the Cagers were able to display their vicious form to deal Ray Parks and company a sound beating.
“Bagong team kasi sila, eh kami matagal na, doon lang nagkatalo. Maganda yung opensa at depensa namin,” said Muntinlupa coach Aldrin Morante. “Lamang lang talaga kami sa chemistry kasi nga bago lang sila.”
Mandaluyong, according to Morante, is one among the teams he had been hearing as the early favorites in the MPBL Datu Cup. But once playing inside the court, it’s the only time you could determine if these teams are definitely for real.
“Sabi nila Mandaluyong, Davao Occidental, Makati, San Juan, yan yung mga sinasabi nilang team to beat, pero mahirap mag-predict eh, tingnan na lang natin sa court. Iisa-isahin na lang namin. Doon na lang kami magpi-prepare,” added Morante.
In the team’s opening game, Morante likes what he saw from the Angelis Resort-backed Cagers.
“Nakita ko maganda yung depensa namin, tumatakbo kami, yung opensa namin, naka-focus sila sa ginagawa namin,” added Morante.
Muntinlupa was able to draw balance production from ex-pros Chito Jaime and Allan Mangahas, to role players like Dave Moralde and Felix Apreku, who also got the job done. Morante believes he’ll need more of that, particularly the bench production.
Last season, the Cagers willed themselves to the championship round, needing to beat the Parañaque Patriots twice in a row to set up a titular showdown with Batangas City.
This time, Morante is upbeat that his team is capable of going all the way, following the inclusion of big man Chester Saldua.
“Siguro naman kumpleto na kami ngayon. Yung ibang player ko nakapgpahinga ng husto, marami nang pwedeng pumalit,” added Morante.