MPBL inaugural champ Batangas sends statement at expense of QC

MPBL champ Batangas sends statement at expense of QC
MPBL inaugural champion Batangas is off to a winning start in the new season (FILE PHOTO)

Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League inaugural champion Batangas has wasted no time in proving it remains one of the top teams now in the 2018 Anta Datu Cup.

Leaning on former pros Bong Galanza and Dennice Villamor, the Athletics fought off a late rally by expansion team Quezon City for a 95-90 decision on Wednesday at the Caloocan Sports Complex.

Galanza, who last played for Mahindra (now Columbian), was red-hot in his league debut and wound up with a game-high 28 points while former Ginebra Gin King Villamor had for himself a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double in their season-opening win.

It was also those two who connived in the fourth, delivering the clutch makes even as the Capitals had a 31-point outburst in the quarter.

The two new recruits were backstopped by a couple of players who had already played for Batangas when they won the championship last conference. Paul Varilla tallied 15 points, seven rebounds, and five assists while Teytey Teodoro chipped in 11 markers of his own.

QC was at the losing end in its debut even after ex-PBA D-League standout Jay Collado’s 21-point, 12-rebound effort as well as 19 points from former University of Sto. Tomas hero Jojo Duncil.

Meanwhile, home team Caloocan made good use of its homecourt advantage, burying Pasig in the final frame for a 91-81 come-from-behind win.

The Supremos (1-0) had six players in double-digits led by Mar Villahermosa who had 18 points on top of six rebounds and three assists.

Bernzon Franco paced the Pirates (0-1) with 15 points.

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