MPBL: Laguna, Batagas pull off contrasting wins
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 07, 2018 02:59 PM
Two Southern Tagalog balled against separate opponents
Laguna and Batangas, two teams from the Southern Tagalog area, pulled off contrasting wins last Thursday to bolster their chances in the 2018 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Anta-Datu Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.
Laguna's Heroes continued to rise after posting their second consecutive win courtesy of their convincing 80-62 win over the Basilan Steel.
With the win, Laguna improved its win-loss record to 4-4 while dealing their rivals from the Mindanao region their fifth loss in eight matches.
Raph Olivarez, a promising swingman, finished with 16 points while ex-pro Jai Reyes had a double-double performance of 12 points and 10 assists for Laguna whose victory has built up its confidence even more heading to its tougher outing against the Manila Stars in their next assignment.
“I think this is a good challenge for us. Our last two wins might be an indication that we are ready to take on the big boys in the tournament and we’ll be facing one of the leaders of the tournament in our netx game,” said Laguna coach Alex Angeles.
A telling 20-4 run in the fourth period was all the Heroes needed in putting away the Steel. That run gave Laguna a commanding 69-49 lead and Basilan never recovered from there.
In the nightcap, inaugural champion Batangas continued its agonizing campaign in this tournament, but managed to find a way to win over host team Pasay, 60-57.
Teytey Teodoro, a clutch performer for the Athletics, finished with 17 points, including the game-winning layup in the last 13 seconds as Batangas snapped a four-game losing skid.
The Athletics, however, had to wait for Alfred Sedillo’s potential game-tying desperation attempt from beyond the arc before heaving a sigh of relief. It was only the third win in eight games for Batangas and head coach Mac Tan acknowledged there’s a problem that needs to be addressed in the team.
“I’m still trying to figure out what the problem is. Whatever we’re showing inside the court now is far from what you are seeing on practice,” added Tan. “But I guess the change should come from me. I need to be more strict dahil baka nasanay yung players na relaxed lang ako.”