Batangas locks up Munti in MPBL Finals rematch
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Oct 19, 2018 01:07 PM
Batangas still has Muntinlupa's number now in the MPBL Anta-Datu Cup
Batangas City, the inaugural staging champion of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, ripped Muntinlupa, 82-71, in a rematch of last season's Finals now in the Anta-Datu Cup
The Athletics, who have been playing on and off this season, made sure they reserved one of their best games facing one of the top teams in the tournament last Thursday at the Lagao Gymnasium in General Santos City.
Behind ex-pro Denice Villamor, the Athletics bucked the absence of Paul Varilla and an ailing Val Acuña, as the former Barangay Ginebra Gin King came away with nine of his 15 points in the fourth period.
The 6-foot-4 Villamor scored his team's last six points in a solid effort.
"I think Denice is one of the best players in the squad and has a chance of making his way back in the PBA. I motivated him to continue pursuing that dream by playing solid ever game here in the MPBL," said Batangas City coach Mac Tan, whose team made it back to the .500 win-loss mark with a 6-6 card.
After winning eight straight games, the Cagers have now lost two in a row.
They went a perfect 7-0 record under Aldrin Morante, then surprisingly made a coaching change by naming Aldin Ayo as coach in lieu of the former.
Ayo's record with the team is 1-2.
Later in the day, home team General Santos Warriors did not disappoint their hometown crowd.
John Orbeta finished with a double-double effort while Dekmar Mahaling came through with crucial baskets before fouling out as the Warriors outlasted the Laguna Heroes, 69-66.
It was the second win in as many games at home by General Santos City this season, improving its win-loss record to 5-6 and snapping back-to-back losses.
Orbeta finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds while Mahaling had 14, including crucial baskets inside the final minute, allowing the host team to hold on to the win.
After winning four in a row, the Heroes have lost their last two games and have fallen to 6-6.