MPBL: Lastimosa's heroics key as Manila wins big at Bulacan

Bob Guerrero on Jul 25, 2019 09:17 AM
MPBL: Lastimosa razor-sharp as Manila shreds Bulacan
"We just follow the coaches' rules and grind in practice. That's why we grind in the games." - Carlo Lastimosa.

The Manila Stars - Frontrow silenced the crowd in the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasiumin Malolos by outclassing the Bulacan Kuyas - Mighty Sports, 93-72, in Wednesday night's featured game in the Lakan Season of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

Carlo Lastimosa was brilliant all game long with 24 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists as the capital team improved to 6-1 with a fourth straight win. The Kuyas absorbed a third straight defeat and are now on 3-4.

"We just follow the coaches' rules and grind in practice. That's why we grind in the games," said Lastimosa afterwards.

Stars forward Marvin Hayes was whistled for a technical in the second quarter after it was discovered that the number on his shorts was torn out . He was immediately subbed out and only returned in the final quarter with a fresh pair of shorts. 

Despite the absence of the ex-JRU Heavy Bomber, Manila got into a solid offensive flow in this period and took a 48-35 lead into the dressing room at the half. The Manilenos further tightened the screws in the third quarter, unleashing a torrid 12-0 run with three baskets from Lastimosa. By the end of the third the Stars led 74-53. There was little let-up in the fourth as Manila cruised to victory.

Manila also got great production from Chris Bitoon who notched 16 points while Dennis Santos' 17 points were the biggest bright spot for the home team.

In the second game Basilan Steel - Jumbo Plastic pulled away in the second half to scuttle Valenzuela SPV Top Marketplace, 87 - 78, and moved up to 4-3.

Japz Bautista had a mammoth game for the Steel, contributing 27 points, a career-high.

The Mindanao team brought out a big 24-17 third quarter to put some distance between them and their rivals to lead, 70-56.

In the final quarter, Bautista kept the heat on while Junjie Hallare and Jay Collado also chipped in to secure the win. Chris De Chavez's 23 points was not enough to prevent Bulacan from losing a third straight game and dropping to 4-4.

In the opening salvo, the Bacoor City Strikers kicked off the triple-header with a sixth straight win at the expense of the SOCCSKSARGEN Marlins, 65-60.

Bacoor put the Marlins in their rearview mirror in the third quarter thanks in part to JR Canete's eight points in that period. The Strikers led, 47-36, going into the last quarter.

However, an early 10-0 burst by SOCCSKSARGEN in the payoff period, led by Norman Gonzales, put them right back into the game at 47-46.

In crunch time though, Bacoor's Ian Melencio rose to the occasion as he reeled off seven straight points to give the Cavitenos a 63-55 cushion that saw them through to victory. Melencio ended up with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists to go with a best player of the game plum.

The Strikers go to 6-1 while the Marlins continue to wait for their maiden win after four games.

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