Insights: Classic escape act by Valenzuela vs Basilan Steel

The Valenzuela Classic survived the Basilan Steel onslaught by the skin of their teeth, 96-94, on Saturday night’s Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) game at the Valenzuela Astrodome.

Rocky Acidre carried the scoring load for the CDO Idol Cheesedog-backed squad with 20 points, four assists, and a 50% clip from downtown (5/10). He scored six of his team’s last eight points, allowing Valenzuela to enter the win column after dropping its first game against Parañaque.

Chris de Chavez chipped in 15 points, all of which came from behind the arc. It was another all-around performance for team captain Paolo Hubalde who had six markers, seven dimes, and six swipes in Valenzuela’s first win of the season.

Basilan built a 14-point lead — its biggest — in the 4:13 mark of the second quarter, off a Ferdinand Lusdoc lay up. But the De Chavez brothers, Chris and Carlo, hustled to bring the red shirts closer at the closing minutes of the second canto. It was a five-point affair at the half, 46-41, in favor of the visiting Steel.

Basilan forward Lusdoc led all scorers with 24 points. He also had five rebounds and three steals while shooting 66.67% from the field. Dennis Daa filled up the stat sheet for the losing team with 21 points, five rebounds, four assists, and a block to go along a 70% clip from the field.

Joseph Romarate, head coach of the Steel, was called for a second technical foul in the dying seconds of the game as he stormed to the middle of the court. He believed there was a missed foul call on Daa’s drive which was crucial as they were only behind by two points. He was earlier called for a technical foul for resentment to a call.

The Steel are hunting for their first win in franchise history and will get their chance against the Cebu Sharks on July 12. Meanwhile, the Classic will be facing the Manila Stars on the 11th of July in San Juan.

– The Classic were whistled for the foul 31 times, while the Steel had 23. Basilan made 19 of their 38 foul shots (50%) while Valenzuela went 12 out of 21 (57%).

– Basilan’s bench was outscored by its counterparts, 49-76.

– Another slow start for the Chris Gavina-mentored team almost cost them another game. On the other side, Romarate’s squad failed to sustain its hot start and crumbled yet again in the end game.

– The Classic also dished out more assists, 29-20, while also beating their counterparts in transition game, scoring 13 fastbreak points compared to only six by the Steel.

– For all the flair of the Classic practice courts, it is unfortunate that the Valenzuela Astrodome was left behind. The hardwood floor was old and needed some paint job. Ventilation has much to be desired.


VALENZUELA (96) – Acidre 20, de Chavez 15, Mabigat 11, de Chavez 10, Alonzo 7, Hubalde 6, Arambulo 6, Dedicatoria 6, Ortega 5, Ruaya 4, Argamino 4, De Guzman 2, Gimpayan 0, Kalaw 0, Velasco 0

BASILAN (94) – Lusdoc 24, Daa 21, Baustista 13, Tangkay 10, Acosta 7, Ababon 6, Daa 5, Julkipli 4, Foronda 2, Belorio 2, Ansaldo 0, Mondragon 0, Garcia 0

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