The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) inaugural champions Batangas City Athletics proved their mettle last night after surviving adversity by cooling off the surging Makati Skyscrapers, 72 to 65, in a tightly contested game.
Teytey Teodoro was awarded the Best Player of the game with 19 points and 4 rebounds for the Tanduay-backed team, who also received valuable contributions from ex-pros Jaymo Eguilos and Lester Alvarez.
Winners of its first two games in the 2018 Anta Datu Cup, the expansion team Makati looked to make a statement by beating Batangas in their home floor. But key three-point baskets down the stretch from former Jose Rizal University shotmaker Teodoro closed the door for the Skyscrapers, who was top-scored by Jeckster Apinan’s double-double performance of 16 points and 12 boards.
With the win, Batangas avenged its shocking defeat to the Bataan Risers and improved to a 2-1 record in the Group B Southern Conference.
— Despite winning the contest, Batangas committed 30 infractions which resulted into 36 easy points for the other side. Makati, on the other hand, only committed 12 turnovers, but couldn’t buy a basket in the closing minutes of the game.
—Teodoro’s bounce back performance was crucial for Batangas, after missing all of his 9 shots in the previous game against Bataan. He fared better versus Makati, dropping 19 points and making 50 percent of his 10 three-point attempts.
—Eguilos matched Apinan’s double-double performance with 17 points and 10 rebounds of his own. He made all of his five shots from the field and was also perfect from the charity stripe, making 7-out-of-7 attempts.
—Alvarez also scored in double figures for the Athletics, scoring 12 markers and dishing out 3 dimes.
—Makati’s starting back court of ex-pros Philip Paniamogan and Rudy Lingganay struggled against the stingy Batangas defense, scoring only 8 and 9 points, respectively. They also only had 6 assists between them.
—After averaging nearly 21 points in the first two games, Makati gunner Cedrick Ablaza came down to earth with only two points in 1-9 shooting.
—James Mangahas was a non-factor as well, scoring 3 points in only 10 minutes of action.
—Batangas will play the Valenzuela Classic next at the Caloocan Sports Complex on July 21, while Makati will clash with the Davao Occidental Tigers inside the Alonte Sports Arena on July 19.